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Texas Democrat Wendy Davis running for US Congress

Posted at 5:04 AM, Jul 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-23 13:59:25-04

Texas Democrat Wendy Davis, who gained national attention for filibustering a state abortion bill before running as the Democratic nominee for governor of Texas, is making a bid for Congress.

Davis announced her campaign Monday for the Texas congressional seat currently held by Republican Rep. Chip Roy.

In 2013, Davis, then a state senator, led a 13-hour filibuster at the Texas state Capitol of legislation that banned abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

On the coattails of her filibuster, Davis was the Democrats’ 2014 nominee for Texas governor, but lost the race to Republican Greg Abbott by 20 percentage points.

“I’m running for Congress because people’s voices are still being silenced,” Davis says in a biographical campaign video released Monday that features moments from her filibuster.

Davis told MSNBC in an interview Monday that she supports Roe v. Wade and “will continue making sure that I carry the message on and continue to fight for as part of this campaign.”

As Davis attempts a political comeback, parts of the Lone Star State have increasingly, albeit slowly, become competitive for Democrats with Texas’ changing demographics. The state’s Democrats saw success in the 2018 midterms by flipping two House seats and making gains in the state legislature, but still failed to win the US Senate and Texas governor’s race.

A former attorney, Davis unseated a longtime Republican incumbent in the Texas Senate in 2008. She won a tough reelection bid in 2012 in a district that Barack Obama lost badly.

Roy, a former chief of staff to US Sen. Ted Cruz, was elected to his House seat in 2018, beating out 17 candidates in the GOP primary and narrowly besting his Democratic opponent by about 3 percentage points. His district, Texas’ 21st Congressional District, includes parts of San Antonio and Austin.

In May, Roy temporarily blocked a $19 billion disaster relief bill from advancing in the US House of Representatives. He cited the lack of money for the Southern border and hefty price tag as two reasons for his objection.

Roy also criticized the two-year budget deal reached Monday between the President and Congress, arguing that the bill “fails in virtually all respects.” “It busts caps (further), increases debt, funds Planned Parenthood… yet, does not fund ICE & border security fully,” he wrote on Twitter, adding that the bill does not do what Republicans promised.

CORRECTION: This story has been updated to correctly reflect that Wendy Davis led the 13-hour filibuster of legislation that banned abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, but she did not speak the whole time.

This story has been updated.