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Wendy Davis close to decision on whether to run for Texas governor

Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) is committed to running for office next year — she just hasn’t decided which one.

Davis, who thrust herself onto the national stage last month with a 13-hour filibuster of legislation restricting abortions in Texas, told a crowded ballroom at the National Press Club that she is carefully weighing her next move.

“I can say with absolute certainty that I will run for one of two offices: either my state Senate seat or the governor,” Davis said, prompting cheers from the scores of supporters on hand.

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“I’m working very hard to decide what my next steps will be,” she said. “I do think in Texas people feel we need a change from the very fractured partisan leadership we are seeing from our state leadership.

Davis said she would make the decision in the next couple of weeks. Her Senate term is up next year and Republican Gov. Rick Perry is not seeking reelection.


“Obviously, it’s a huge task to take on. I want to make sure it’s the right thing for me and also that its something hopefully our state would want to see.”

Davis has heard calls to run for the governorship since June, when her filibuster of a bill banning abortions after 20 months of pregnancy went viral.

Though the bill was eventually approved, Davis has since received a windfall of campaign contributions, collecting over $1 million in the weeks following the filibuster.

"When I stood up at my desk, I had no doubt that filibustering the bill was the right thing to do,” she said on Monday. “But I had no idea it would trigger such an overwhelmingly positive response around the country.”

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The filibuster made Davis a star on the left, spurring calls for her to set her sights on the governor’s mansion, a lofty goal for any Democrat in reliably red Texas.

Davis said her views are shared by a growing “force” in Texas that would help shape the state's political future.

“The voices we heard in support of my filibuster that night aren’t the ones we usually hear amplified across Texas, and I think a lot of people outside the state were surprised that they even exist,” she said. But Texans know that the voices in our state that shout the loudest haven’t often been the ones that speak for everyone.”

The speech was a chance for Davis to introduce herself to the national press, and she devoted much of it to her biography. One of four children raised by a single mother, Davis recalled growing up in poverty.

By age 19, she too was a poor single mother before putting herself through school and launching her political career, she said.

"Thirty years ago, I could not have imagined that I would one day be here in Washington, D.C.," she said.

— This story was first published at 1:40 p.m. and has been updated.