Former Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis, who became a reproductive rights icon when she spent 13 hours filibustering an anti-abortion bill in 2013, announced on Monday she's running for Congress. It's the first time she's seeking elected office since losing a gubernatorial bid five years ago.
"I'm running for Congress because people's voices are still being silenced," she said in a video announcing her challenge against Republican Rep. Chip Roy in Texas' 21st Congressional District. "I'm running for our children and grandchildren, so they can live and love and fight for change themselves."
Davis served in the Texas Senate from 2009 to 2015. Her historic filibuster opposing an omnibus abortion bill — during which she spent 13 consecutive hours standing in pink running shoes and reading the testimonies of people who've had abortions — launched her onto the national stage. (The story of it is even being made into a movie, starring Sandra Bullock.) However, even though she had national support and was a powerhouse fundraiser, Davis lost the gubernatorial race in 2014 to current Texas Gov. Greg Abbott by more than 20 percentage points. But "even in losing, we helped shape the future," she said in her video announcement. The 56-year-old has spent the past couple of years running the nonprofit Deeds Not Words, which focuses on gender equality.
I’m proud to announce my campaign for Congress in TX-21!— Wendy Davis (@wendydavis) July 22, 2019
I’m running to be a voice for every Texan who feels forgotten by a broken political system. Time to make DC listen - will you stand with me? ✊ >> https://t.co/JD1wMnMvPe pic.twitter.com/Btlq6zI5tv
Davis is hoping to defeat Roy, a first-term congressman in a historically Republican district who won the seat by less than 3 percentage points in the 2018 midterm election. A conservative firebrand, Roy made news earlier this year when he single-handedly blocked a disaster aid package over procedural concerns. The measure would have helped Texas recover from natural disasters such as Hurricane Harvey, which devastated the Houston area in 2017.
"I'm running to be a voice for every Texan who feels forgotten by a broken political system," Davis said. "It's time to make Washington listen — will you stand with me?"
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