On Thursday, Oct. 3, Democratic state Senator Wendy Davis officially announced her bid for Texas governor at The Wiley G. Thomas Coliseum in Haltom City, Texas where she received her high school diploma.
“Texans do not want to sit back and watch Austin turn into Washington, D.C., but state leaders that are currently in power are forcing people to opposite corners to prepare for a fight instead of coming together to get things done,” said Davis. “I am asking you to dream of all that we can accomplish together. I am asking you to believe that the best of Texas is yet to come.”
Davis gained national attention in June after filibustering in the Texas legislature for 11 hours in an attempt to block a bill that would put further restrictions on abortion. The bill was later re-introduced and was signed into law. Despite this, her filibuster gave her enough recognition to have a potentially successful campaign for governor in a conservative state.
Born in West Warwick, RI, Davis moved to Fort Worth at the age of 11. At 18, she married and gave birth to her daughter, Amber— a year later she was a divorced single mother. She then enrolled in a paralegal program at Tarrant County College; two years later she transferred to Texas Christian University where she earned a B.A. in English. After earning her bachelor’s degree, she went on to pursue a Juris Doctorate from Harvard and graduated with honors in 1993.
San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro publicly announced his endorsement of Davis in an event at Rackspace in San Antonio, Oct. 7. According to her official Twitter account, Davis is, “Proud to receive the endorsement of my dear friend Mayor Julian Castro in the great city of San Antonio.”
Davis has been a proponent of education and the welfare of Texas’ children; she is also pro-choice, as evidenced by her 11-hour filibuster earlier this year.
The big question that everyone is asking is: Will Texas turn blue or will it remain one of the strongest red states in the country? If Davis can carry the female vote and the Hispanic vote, then she may have a fighting chance, according to CNN.
Greg Abbott, the Republican candidate and current Attorney General of Texas, is only the second Republican to hold the office since Reconstruction. He won the seat of Attorney General in 2002 when John Cornyn vacated the position to run for U.S. Senate.
Abbott defeated Kirk Watson, the Democratic nominee, by 57 percent. Abbott was re-elected in 2006 and again in 2010, making him the longest-serving Attorney General in Texas’ history.
Born in Wichita Falls, he grew up in Duncanville, Texas. In 1981, he graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a B.B.A. in Finance. He then went on to graduate in 1984 from Vanderbilt University Law School. In 1982, he married Cecelia Phalen, a Hispanic woman from San Antonio. In 1984, Abbott was injured by a fallen tree, which left him a paraplegic. Before being elected Attorney General he was appointed to the post by Governor George W. Bush, and then twice re-elected.
Abbott is known nationally for his defense of a Ten Commandments monument on the state capitol grounds. The case went to the United States Supreme Court where in a 5-4 majority it was found that Texas was not in violation of the constitution.
Greg Abbott has committed himself to fighting the Affordable Care Act and the involvement of the federal government in state affairs. According to PolitiFact, he has sued the federal government a total of 25 times since President Obama took office in 2009. Earlier this year, he spoke to a Tea Party group saying, “I go into the office, I sue the federal government and I go home.”
Abbott’s conservative values have made him the Gubernatiorial frontrunner in the red state of Texas. He believes in government transparency, protection of citizens’ constitutional rights— especially their second and tenth amendment rights— and strong voter I.D. laws.
He is also a supporter of protecting children’s rights. As Attorney General, one of his most important responsibilities is to remove and protect children from dangerous situations.
In his tenure as Attorney General, Abbott has collected $26 billion in child support, according to his campaign website.
Currently, Davis has $1 million in campaign funds while Abbott, has $25 million in his war chest.