Wendy Davis declares run for governor

Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) announced her gubernatorial campaign Thursday evening, giving Texas Democrats a star recruit for the state's open race.

"We're here today because we believe it's time to give all Texans a voice in their future and a place in Texas's future," she said in her announcement speech.

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Davis, whose filibuster of a state bill limiting abortion made her a hero of the left, had been expected to announce her bid for weeks.

The speech focused nearly exclusively on bread-and-butter issues — she spent much time discussing her humble beginnings, and the only filibuster she mentioned was one of a bill that cut state education funds. Davis stayed away from the social issues that made her a national sensation.

"We're here because we want to fight for Texas jobs and help Texas companies grow. We're here because we want every child, no matter where they start in Texas, to receive a world-class education to take them anywhere they want to go, so that success and opportunity is within reach of every single Texan, and no one in this great state is ever forced to dream smaller instead of bigger. That’s something Texans are willing to fight for. It's something we've fought for together," she said.

"Until the corridors of power are the corridors of the people, until problem-solving trumps partisanship, until our state is 'a lot less lone and a lot more star,' we will keep going. As long as we can make this great state even greater, we will keep going," she said. "Because with the right kind of leadership, the great state of Texas will keep its sacred promise that where you start has nothing to do with how far you can go."

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) has already announced his candidacy for governor. His campaign was quick with a response to Davis's announcement.

"Once again, Texas Democrats are attempting to conjure support for California-style candidates that try to sell Obama’s liberal agenda and go against what makes Texas great," said Abbott press secretary Avdiel Huerta. "Nonetheless, we welcome Sen. Davis to the race, and look forward to presenting the clear differences and debating the important issues that will preserve the economic miracle in Texas."

Davis supporters acknowledge she has an uphill race against Abbott, who already has $20 million in the bank for the campaign in the conservative state. But Democrats are hopeful that the state's changing demographics could benefit her.