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Local Democrats Mentioned as Potential Statewide Candidates on a 'Wendy Ticket'

Local Democrats Mentioned as Potential Statewide Candidates on a 'Wendy Ticket'

 

  State Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Ft. Worth) has pushed back her announcement on whether she will run for governor for a month, but observers say that will give Davis more time to secure fundraising, and will give Texas Democrats more time to secure candidates to run on what they hope will be a strong list of statewide candidates in the 2014 election, 1200 WOAI news reports.

 

  Davis had said that she would announce her political plans 'by Labor Day.'  But now she says she will not make an announcement until potentially the end of September, saying her father has a chronic illness and she wants to concentrate on his care.

 

  Allen Saxe, a political science professor at UT Arlington and one of the state's top political observers, says the delay won't hurt Davis and might help her.

 

  "Its probably better for her to keep the suspense going for a while, not that this was planned or anything," Saxe told 1200 WOAI news.  "Its not this summer as everybody knows, a lot of people are still gone, they're thinking summer, our attention is drawn to international affairs."

 

  Davis says she will run either for governor or for re-election to her state senate seat in Ft. Worth.

 

  While running for governor and losing to the formidable Greg Abbott would be a setback for Davis, some observers say now that she has become 'the face of the Democratic Party,' best known for her support of the unpopular subject of prohibiting late term abortion, she might not win re-election to her state senate seat, which would be far more disappointing.

 

  Several local names have emerged as candidates for statewide office on the Democratic ticket.  Most prominently mentioned are State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte for Lieutenant Governor, and State Rep. Mike Villarreal for State Comptroller.

 

  Van de Putte is a business owner who has emerged as one of the Legislature's experts on the energy industry, and she has long been seen as a possible candidate for statewide office.  Villarreal is a financial planner and manager who is a leader in the fight for more funding for education.

 

  Several Republicans have announced their candidacy for Lieutenant Governor, where incumbent David Dewhurst is seen as weak following his defeat at the hands of Ted Cruz in last year's U.S. Senate race.  Incumbent Republican State Comptroller Susan Combs is retiring.

 

  No Democrat has won a statewide race in Texas since Bob Bullock was elected Lieutenant Governor in 1994.

 

  But many Democrats have seen the surge of support for Davis which came following her filibuster of the 'fetal pain' abortion bill last month as an indication that the party will get the funding, and the public enthusiasm, to resume its role as a key player in Texas politics.

 

  "She is young, she can make a good speech, she has a very good following of young people, of women," Saxe said.

 

 

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