Wendy Davis will announce her election plans on Oct. 3, raising Texas Democrats’ hopes that she will seek to become her party’s first governor since Ann Richards left office in 1995.
Davis didn’t provide other details about her plans in an e-mailed statement, but urged supporters to use social media to publicize the date.
Gov. Rick Perry isn’t running for re-election in November 2014 after 13 years in office, making him the nation’s longest-serving governor. Attorney General Greg Abbott, a Republican who has won five statewide elections and has raised more than $21 million, is favored to succeed Perry. He faces Tom Pauken, a former Texas Workforce Commission chairman, in the Republican primary.
Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa and other party officials are urging Davis to run for governor, while cautioning her of the difficulty of breaking up the Republican dominance of state politics in Texas.
Republicans hold 19 of 31 state senate seats and 95 of the 150 seats in the House of Representatives and haven’t lost a statewide election since 1994. In the 2010 gubernatorial election, Democrat Bill White, a former Houston mayor, lost to Perry by a margin of 55 percent to 42 percent.
Davis, 50, raised her national profile in June when she spoke for more than 11 hours in the Texas Senate to block a bill to restrict abortions. With the help of a chanting gallery, the clock ran out before Senate Republicans could vote. Perry then called lawmakers back for a session in July to pass the bill.
Since then Davis has raised $1.2 million and met with Democratic donors nationally to discuss a possible campaign. Born poor with three siblings, Davis was a single mother by 19. Starting at a junior college to become a paralegal, she later graduated from Harvard Law School, worked with her ex-husband’s title company and served on the Fort Worth city council for nine years before entering state politics.
Davis has said she will either run for governor or re-election as a state senator from Fort Worth. She won re-election in 2012 by about 2 percentage points.