My first attempt at writing a story covering Wendy Davis’ announcement that she’s running for governor here in Texas. I’m still proofing it for compliance with AP style, and somehow it doesn’t feel as “meaty” as I’d like, but I think I kept it fairly balanced in representing both viewpoints with quotes from her supporters and detractors and a quoted response from her primary competition.
NOTE: I posted this piece primarily to get feedback on structure, whether it presents a balanced viewpoint, and general feedback regarding the WRITING. Political discussion is fine, but name calling, whether it be towards Senator Davis or General Abbott (or anyone else) will not be tolerated. Period. I won’t let my blog become a venue to disrespect anyone.
Any critiques appreciated.
Wendy Davis Announces Gubernatorial Bid
By Rob Miller
Fort Worth, Texas – Texas State Senator Wendy Davis, D – Fort Worth, announced her candidacy for governor Thursday. Davis will be running against Texas Attorney General Greg Abott, R – Austin.
Davis walked to the podium to the tune of “This Girl is on Fire” by Alecia Keys, and her supporters certainly seemed to agree with the sentiment. “Turn Texas blue. We will do.” said attendee Gwen Johnson of Fort Worth when asked why she was at Davis’ announcement address.
While many people attending the event were Davis’ supporters; there were also protestors outside of the event. Davonia Leach, also of Fort Worth, picketed the event. Leach said that she hadn’t paid much attention to Davis until her filibuster during the 2013 Special Legislative Session. “There are some things that are just not negotiable, and this is one of them.” Leach said when asked if she would have protested the event if Davis hadn’t filibustered a bill related to abortion.
Davis is most widely known for using the filibuster as a political tool. She first used it during the 82nd Legislative Session to fight a $4 billion cut to Texas’ education budget. She used it again during a 2013 special legislative session, attempting to stop senate bill five which restricts abortion clinics by banning abortions after the 20th week of gestation, requires doctors offering abortions to have admitting rights at local hospitals and requires facilities meet the same requirements stand-alone surgical centers have to. She initially succeeded in blocking the bill, but it later passed during an additional special session called by Governor Rick Perry, R – Austin.
While abortion rights is certainly the issue Davis has gotten the most press for recently; she made it clear that she won’t be a one issue candidate. During her speech, which lasted just longer than 15 minutes, Davis mentioned several key issues. Davis focused mostly on education and its ability to provide opportunities, but also stressed the importance of veterans’ issues; fighting crime; supporting farmers, ranchers and a growing technology sector; and increasing job growth throughout the state.
Davis should prove quite capable of speaking about those issues. She serves as vice chair of the Texas Senate’s Open Government Committee and serves on the Economic Development, Transportation and Veteran Affairs and Military Installations Committees. Her 2011 filibuster against a $5 billion cut to education and follow up grass roots efforts to restore $3 billion after it eventually passed evinces her experience in the education ring.
Abbott responded to Davis’ announcement Friday morning on John David’s radio show. “This is now going to be a pitched battle, not only for the future of Texas, but also for the future of America.” Abbott said. “Is Texas and is America going along the line of more freedom, more independence, less government, lower taxes, or are we gonna have liberals come into this state headed up by political operatives of Barrack Obama, and try to turn Texas into a version of California; into a version of Detroit; into a version of Washington D.C.?”
Davis seems to agree with Abbott on that last point. “Texans do not want to sit back and watch Austin turned into Washington D.C.” she said. This point may hit home for supporters of both candidates as the federal government enters the fifth day of a shutdown caused by a congressional stalemate regarding the budget.
Davis spoke regarding her history of bipartisan work while a member of the Fort Worth City Council. “When people had the same idea about something that they wanted, but different ideas about how to get there, I’d ask them to sit down at a table, work with respect and an open mind and hash out a solution,” she said. Maintaining that stance may be key during an election when many Texans express an exhaustion regarding increasingly polarized political stances in Washington D.C. and Austin.
“I’m getting real tired of the rhetoric between the Republicans and the Democrats. They just need to act like adults and get the job done.” said Austinite Mike Studdard. “Hopefully whoever we elect to the governor’s office can keep this nonsense from happening here in Texas.”
Davis and Abbot aren’t the only candidates running in the election. Abbott is joined on the Republican ticket by author Lisa Fritsch, Texas secessionist Larry Kilgore, former TV personality Miriam Martinez and former Texas Workforce Commissioner Tom Pauken. No other Democrats have joined the race. There are three Libertarian candidates: 2008 presidential candidate Gene Chapman, attorney Kathie Glass and Vice Chair of the Libertarian National Committee Lee Wrights.
“Wendy Davis won the battle, but Rick Perry won the war.” National Review writer Betsy Woodruff said shortly after Davis’ most recent filibuster. That remains to be determined as Perry prepares to step down from the Governor’s seat and Davis begins her fight with Abbott to plant their flags on the hill.