The PJ Tatler

Wendy Davis Tells Press Club She'll Run for Her Seat or for Governor

Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis (D) told the National Press Club in Washington today that she “will run for one of two offices: either my state Senate seat or the governor.”

“A lot of people are asking me that question lately, as you can imagine, and I am working very hard to decide what my next steps will be. I do think in Texas people feel we need a change from the very fractured, very partisan leadership we’re seeing in the state government right now,” said the lawmaker who became a darling of the left after her filibuster of a late-term abortion ban.

One person in attendance asked if Davis would run for vice president on a Hillary Clinton 2016 ticket.

“Well, in answer to that, I would say, we will have to find out whether Hillary’s planning to run for president first,” Davis laughed.

“In the past few weeks, I’ve had so many young women tell me how much it meant to them to see me stand up for them, and to be standing alongside them. And after the filibuster, I’ve had more than a few come to me and simply cry. And what I see in their tears are not tears of defeat. Instead, it’s their understanding that, even if only for a short while, their voices, as much as mine, made a difference in the landscape of what was happening in the state of Texas,” she said.

Still, she painted her Press Club speech with a broader, campaign-style brush talking about everything from poverty to education.

“It isn’t just about reproductive rights. So that day was about reproductive rights. It’s about the vacuum of leadership that’s happening there. It’s about the failure of our state leaders who are currently in power to really be connected to what Texas families want to see. Whether it is the dramatic number of folks in Texas who don’t have health insurance, whether it’s the dramatic defunding of public education that has put us into a battle in the court system in Texas for the last year and a half or so, whether it’s a failure to invest in higher education, Texas really is not listening to families,” Davis said.

Of the abortion bill, she said Republicans “would like everyone to believe” the legislation was about banning abortion after 20 weeks.

“In Texas .57 percent of those procedures occur after 20 weeks and the dramatic numbers of those in situations where a very well-loved, very-much-wanted baby has been found to have very severe problems,” said Davis. “Instead, what the bill was really about, and it’s been disappointing that this hasn’t been enough of the conversation, it was really about closing women’s access to a very important health care service in the state of Texas, because these clinics in many instances are dual purpose.”

When asked what limits on abortion she supports, she said, “You know, the Supreme Court has — has made that decision. And it’s one of the protected liberties under our Constitution. And I respect the constitutional protections that are in place today, whether it be for this purpose or whether it be for other protective purposes in the Constitution. I don’t think we can pick and choose.”

When asked what she thought of 2016 presidential bid for Gov. Rick Perry, she said, “I have three responses to that. I think that’s all I’m gonna say about that.”

“…In Texas, where the dramatic number of our districts are Republican, the only conversations that are really being had in the political arena, which, of course, is the best place for public discourse on issues, are taking place at the very far right extreme. It’s not reflective of who people in Texas really are.”