Wendy Davis May Run Again

by | September 24, 2015

By Anna M. Tinsley

Wendy Davis _ a former Fort Worth state senator and last year's unsuccessful Democratic gubernatorial candidate _ hopes to serve in public office again some day.

But she doesn't know when, where or for what office. "I do hope to run again," she recently told the Rolling Stone magazine, for an article titled "Wendy Davis on Running for Office Again, Life After Defeat." "I have no particular path in mind at this point.

"I am simply keeping myself open for opportunities that make sense."

Davis, a former Fort Worth city councilwoman, drew national attention for her 2013 filibuster at the Texas Capitol against new abortion restrictions. She catapulted from the Texas Senate into a race to become the next governor of Texas.

Davis served in the Texas Senate from 2009 to 2015.

She ran a high-profile gubernatorial campaign against Republican Greg Abbott, then the state's attorney general, but ultimately lost by more than 20 percentage points, or nearly 1 million votes.

"When I lost the gubernatorial race, I felt a responsibility to other women who are perhaps thinking of running for office one day to demonstrate that it's OK if we lose," Davis told the magazine. "Sometimes we're going to.

"We've got to hop right back up and put ourselves out there again, and know that losing isn't the worst thing in the world. And honestly I hope to do that at some point."

There has been much speculation on what Davis will do.

It has been nearly a year since the election and Davis has traveled around, making countless public speeches and talking about a new initiative to promote gender equality that she hopes to soon unveil. The initiative is geared to bring more women's voices into the political discussion.

Local political observers have long speculated she might again run for office, return to her legal work or pick up a political assignment or private job.

They've also said she could end up working for a national progressive nonprofit group or perhaps be appointed to a post by President Barack Obama.

"Getting beaten doesn't close all the doors," Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, has said. "There are still lots of doors. She just has to decide which one to go through."

Davis _ whose gubernatorial campaign was marked by media scrutiny on issues ranging from errors in her biography to campaign mismanagement _ said there are "several things" she would do different if she runs for office again.

"When you get into a race of that magnitude _ and it was my first experience on a platform of that magnitude _ you tend to have to rely on a team of people around you to help shape everything you do, from your day-to-day logistics to your speeches to your priorities and your messaging," she told Rolling Stone. "I felt like as the months ticked by, my voice was getting lost."

And if she was running for office again today, Davis said she would speak out more on the very issue that drew her nationwide attention.

"We sort of assumed, well, everyone knows where I stand on choice and on reproductive autonomy _ let's move on to other issues so they can see the other priorities I have as well, like public education, for example," she said. "But I think people really did want to hear more about (reproductive rights) in the election, and I certainly want to talk about it.

"It's been one of the most freeing parts of losing the election and not being an officeholder or a candidate right now: I can focus on exactly the things that matter to me, and spend my energies doing that."

(c)2015 Fort Worth Star-Telegram