Former state senator, abortion-on-demand activist, and failed gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis said Thursday she is indeed kicking around the idea of lacing up her hot pink sneakers and running for U.S. Congress.
The announcement confirms the whispers of political insiders that Davis has been tiptoeing towards another campaign. The office, however, is not the one Davis was originally thought to be considering.
Touting her progressive bona fides to “The Rabble,” a leftist podcast, Davis confirmed she does not intend to run against sitting U.S. Sen. John Cornyn but is instead considering mounting a campaign for Texas’ 21st Congressional District against conservative stalwart U.S. Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX). The podcast was made public Friday morning, and talk of her intentions to run quickly made the rounds in liberal media.
“The Rabble,” self-described as “a podcast for the unruly mob” and “a weekly conversation between three progressive activists in Texas,” has segments called “Political F*ck, Marry, Kill,” interviews with special guests, and a straightforward segment titled “Sh*t To Do” to turn Texas blue.
“So, I know you said it’s not out of your system yet—holding office—and I’ve been hearing rumors that you’re considering running again. When will we know more about that?” one host asked Davis. Davis’ response provided insight into the thinking behind Democrats’ strategy for 2020 in the state:
“Hopefully in the next month or so. I’m looking very seriously at Congressional District 21. I live in that district now, and we came very close to winning it in 2018. Joseph Kopser gave a valiant effort, worked so, so hard, and came very, very close. The question is, “Can we do it for 2020?” And I’m trying to take a really pragmatic look at that. I want to make sure that we have the ability to win it, and I believe we do. And I want to believe I’m the right person to help us do that.”
Davis spent six years in the Texas Senate, representing Senate District 10 in Tarrant County, until choosing to forego running for re-election and instead campaigned for governor in 2014 against Republican Greg Abbott. Davis tripped and fell in a landslide rejection of her candidacy statewide by more than 20 percentage points. Davis was only able to win a small number of border counties, in addition to Dallas and Travis counties, outright.
Since the embarrassing loss, Davis has manufactured an advocacy organization called “Deeds Not Words,” whose mission statement is: “Galvanizing the power of young women to disrupt the status quo through organizing, policy-making, and voting.” She was also floated as a possible replacement for Cecile Richards to run Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, early last year.
Roy took to twitter Friday afternoon to address the claims:
Wendy Davis and her radical left Hollywood views are out-of-step with the Texas Hill Country values I am proud to represent… But if she wants to spend a lot of Democrat money to run, we’ll see her on the campaign trail. #Tx21
— Chip Roy (@chiproytx) April 5, 2019
The former federal prosecutor, Capitol staffer, and first assistant Texas attorney general was elected to represent Texas’ 21st Congressional District last year, defeating another “rising star” in the liberal ranks, Joseph Kopser, by 2.5 percent. Kopser, who, like Davis, is also on a short list of potential candidates to take on Cornyn next year, has not said whether he intends to challenge Roy again or campaign against Cornyn instead.
Congressional District 21, which touches both the Austin and San Antonio metropolitan areas, was listed among the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee’s top six targets for Democrats to flip in 2020, after successfully flipping the seats of former Reps. Pete Sessions of Dallas and John Culberson of Houston last year.
The districts will be a part of the $1 million ongoing strategy effort to flip the state in 2020, with Cornyn’s senatorial seat topping the list.