By Mark Z. Barabak
12:53 PM EDT, September 18, 2013
State Sen. Wendy Davis of Texas, who became an overnight celebrity with her one-woman stand against tougher abortion restrictions, announced Wednesday she will reveal her next political step in two weeks, amid strong signals she will launch an uphill bid for governor.
In an email to supporters, Davis said: “There’s one question I’ve gotten quite often in the past few months. I’ve heard it online, while I’m traveling around the state, from the media and in my Fort Worth neighborhood: What’s next?”
She invited supporters to be “among the first to know” by signing up for an alert the day she makes her announcement and urged them to spread the word via social media, which helped her skyrocket to fame during a June filibuster against anti-abortion legislation.
Matt Angle, a veteran Democratic strategist and Davis advisor, said “things are progressing in such a way” that should please those encouraging her to run.
She is expected to formally announce her candidacy Oct. 3.
Davis filibustered for 11 hours in an attempt to block legislation severely limiting abortions in Texas. Although the law ultimately passed, she garnered a nationwide following and was immediately urged to consider a run for governor—an office no Democrat has won in Texas in more than 20 years.
Traveling the country, Davis has raised more $1 million in recent months and built a nationwide network of support. Even so, a run for governor would be a steep challenge and Davis would start as a decided underdog, as Angle acknowledged.
“It’s a long path, it’s a narrow path with a lot of hazards along the way,” he said.
But, he said, if Davis runs she would do so convinced there was a plausible way to win. “She’s not interested in running to get close,” he said. ”That doesn’t guarantee a win. But it means she isn’t running just to run.”
The frontrunner to succeed Republican Rick Perry, who is stepping down, is Republican Atty. Gen. Greg Abbott, who has already raised more than $20 million for the race. Tom Pauken, a former state party chairman, is also running for governor on the Republican side.
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