Wendy Davis

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Wendy Davis
Wendy Davis.jpg
Current candidacy
Running for Governor of Texas
Date of primaryMarch 4, 2014
Current office
Texas State Senate, District 10
In office
2009 - Present
Term ends
January 13, 2015
Years in position 5
Base salary$7,200/year
Per diem$150/day
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First elected2008
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sTexas Christian University
J.D.Harvard Law School
Office website
Campaign website
Wendy R. Davis is a Democratic member of the Texas State Senate, representing District 10. She was first elected to the chamber in 2008.

On September 26, 2013, multiple news outlets, including The New York Times, reported that Davis had decided to run for Governor of Texas in the 2014 elections. On October 3, 2013, Davis officially announced her decision to run for Governor.[1][2][3][4][5][6]


Davis received a bachelor's degree from Texas Christian University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.[7]

In addition to being a senator, Davis is also an attorney. Prior to her position in the state senate, Davis was on the Fort Worth City Council, where she worked closely with the Texas Legislature.[8]

Committee assignments


At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Davis served on the following committees:

Texas Committee Assignments, 2013
Economic Development
Veteran Affairs & Military Installations


In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Davis served on the following Texas Senate committees:


In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Davis served on the following Texas Senate committees:


Abortion Filibuster

On June 26, 2013, Davis led a filibuster of a controversial abortion bill under debate in the Texas State Senate that lasted for nearly eleven hours. Davis rose to speak at 11:18 AM and continued until 10:00 PM, when a Republican senator raised a point of order and argued that, since Davis went off topic, she must yield the floor. The presiding officer agreed, and ended the filibuster. Other senate Democrats used parliamentary procedures to stall the vote until after midnight when the session officially ended. Although the bill eventually came to a vote just after midnight and passed 17-12, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R) announced that the vote was constitutionally invalid and that the bill did not pass.[9]

The abortion bill eventually passed in a second special session, called by Governor Rick Perry (R) with the intent of passing the bill.[10]

Post-filibuster fundraising

Davis reportedly raised $1.2 million for her campaign in the six weeks after her filibuster. About sixty percent of her donations came from within Texas, and nine of her ten largest donors were from Texas. Her campaign reported 24,000 donors, with an average donation of $52.[11][12]

Campaign themes


Davis's website highlighted the following campaign themes: Job Creation – Economic Stability

  • Excerpt:"Job creation, job retention and stability for local economies are priorities for Senator Wendy Davis."


  • Excerpt:"Senator Davis believes providing an excellent public education system is the state’s most-important responsibility."

Easing family budgets

  • Excerpt:"Senator Davis continues to lead the charge against predatory lending in Texas, an industry that siphons money from our local economies and keeps many hard-working families trapped in a cycle of debt."

Veterans – Our Nation’s Heroes

  • Excerpt:"As a member of the Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs & Military Installations, Senator Davis is a recognized champion on behalf of our nation’s heroes living in Texas."

Truth in Budgeting, Honesty With Taxpayers

  • Excerpt:"Last session, Senator Davis fought the diversion of over $5 billion of funds that were collected from taxpayers for a specific purpose, and yet were diverted to the general fund to balance the budget, a diversion that betrayed Texas taxpayers’ expectations that money collected for a specific purpose should be used for that purpose."



See also: Texas gubernatorial election, 2014

Wendy Davis for Governor ad

Davis is a Democratic candidate for governor in 2014. She reportedly explored governor, lt. governor and Congress, but Davis told reporters that she would only be interested in running for her state senate seat or for governor in 2014.[13][14][15] Several polls have asked residents whether they would vote for Davis for governor.[16] Davis was urged by Texas Democrats and labor leaders to run for governor.[11][17] In an email to supporters on September 18, 2013, David said she would announce her campaign plans on October 3.[18]

On September 26, 2013, multiple news outlets, including The New York Times, reported that Davis had decided to run for governor.[19] She made her official announcement on October 3, 2013.[20]

Davis won the primary election on March 4. The general election takes place November 4, 2014.

  • Primary
Texas Gubernatorial Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngWendy Davis 79.1% 432,025
Reynaldo "Ray" Madrigal 20.9% 114,455
Total Votes 546,480
Election Results Via:Texas Secretary of State.



On her campaign website Davis lists four main issues of her campaign.[22]

  • Education - "Too many of our public schools and universities are overcrowded and underfunded. Far too many of our students never graduate from high school." "Wendy is running for Governor so that every young person has access to the same opportunities that she did and so our future generations can make Texas even better than it is today."
  • Strong Economy: "Wendy knows that we must put Texans first when we talk about jobs and economic growth in our state. We must strengthen our working Texas families in order to protect the Texas we love."
  • Government Accountability: "In the Texas Senate, Wendy successfully championed legislation requiring corporations that receive government subsidies to return the money if they fail to meet their obligations. She supports measures to root out corruption and waste from government agencies. And she supports changes in the state budgeting process that ensure that taxpayers can see how every dollar is spent."
  • Veterans: "Our veterans should have access to education, get credit for the training that they received while in the service, and be welcomed back into the workforce in Texas. Wendy has worked to make sure that veterans, service members, and their families are provided every opportunity for a quality education. This includes college tuition exemptions, more college counselors available to help veterans, and strong support for Hazlewood benefits."[23]

—Wendy Davis for Governor 2014 campaign, http://www.wendydavistexas.com/issues/


Campaign biography

In January 2014, details came to light that cast doubt on the Davis campaign's narrative of her young adult life.[24] A report in The Dallas Morning News found that Davis's first divorce was finalized at age 21, not 19 as she had previously said. Subsequent to that divorce, she lived with her daughter for "only a few months in the family mobile home" as opposed to the longer length of time that her campaign had previously implied.[24]

Local commentators judged these to be important revelations because Davis's personal story is a key part of the her campaign's appeal.[25]

Financial disclosure

On January 29, 2014, a reporter with conservative Watchdog.org filed an ethics complaint with the Texas Ethics Commission, alleging several discrepancies between Davis' personal tax returns and her personal financial statements as State Senator from 2010 to 2012.[26]


See also: Texas State Senate elections, 2012

Davis ran in the 2012 election for Texas State Senate, District 10. Davis ran unopposed in the May 29 primary election and defeated Mark Shelton (R) in the general election, which took place on November 6, 2012.[27]

Senate District 10 drew Republican interest in 2012, prompting large contributions to both candidates in District 10. In the last six months of 2011, Davis reported raising $569,162 in donations while her opponent, District 91 Republican incumbent Mark Shelton, raised $273,518.[28]

Texas State Senate, District 10, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngWendy Davis Incumbent 51.1% 147,103
     Republican Mark Shelton 48.9% 140,656
Total Votes 287,759


On Nov. 4, 2008, Davis won election to the 10th District Seat in the Texas State Senate, defeating opponents Kim Brimer and Richard Cross.[27]

Davis raised $2,185,654 for her campaign while Brimer raised $1,891,603 and Cross raised $0.[29]

Texas State Senate, District 10 (2008)
Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.png Wendy Davis (D) 147,832 49.91%
Kim Brimer (R) 140,737 47.52%
Richard Cross (L) 7,591 2.56%

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Davis is available dating back to 2008. Based on available campaign finance records, Davis raised a total of $7,428,346 during that time period. This information was last updated on August 21, 2013.[30]

Wendy Davis's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Texas State Senate, District 10 Won $4,310,971
2010 Texas State Senate, District 10 Not up for election $931,721
2008 Texas State Senate, District 10 Won $2,185,654
Grand Total Raised $7,428,346


Davis won re-election to the Texas State Senate in 2012. During that election cycle, Davis raised a total of $4,310,971.
Texas State Senate 2012 election - Campaign Contributions
Top contributors to Wendy Davis's campaign in 2012
Mostyn Law Firm$465,250
Annies List$423,849
Bass, Sid$100,000
Nix Patterson & Roach$100,000
Provost & Umphrey$85,000
Total Raised in 2012$4,310,971
Source:Follow the Money


Davis was not up for election to the Texas State Senate in 2010. During that election cycle, Davis raised a total of $931,721.


Davis won election to the Texas State Senate in 2008. During that election cycle, Davis raised a total of $2,185,654.


Empower Texans Fiscal Responsibility Index

Empower Texans produces the Fiscal Responsibility Index as "a measurement of how lawmakers perform on size and role of government issues." The index uses "exemplar votes on core budget and free enterprise issues that demonstrate legislators' governing philosophy."[31] Legislators were graded along a 0 through 100 scale in 2013 and on an A through F grading scale in 2011.


Davis received a score of 43.6 in the 2013 Fiscal Responsibility Index.


Wendy Davis received a grade of F on the 2011 Fiscal Responsibility Index.

Recent news

BallotpediaAvatar bigger.png
Know more information about this profile?
Submit a bio

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Wendy + Davis + Texas + Senate"

All stories may not be relevant to this legislator due to the nature of the search engine.

Wendy Davis News Feed

  • Loading...

See also

External links

Light Bulb Icon.svg.png
Suggest a link


  1. The New York Times, "Texas’ Davis Is Expected to Enter Race for Governor," September 26, 2013
  2. USA Today, "Wendy Davis ready to run for Texas governor," September 26, 2013
  3. Reuters, "Wendy Davis, of filibuster fame, to run for Texas governor," September 26, 2013
  4. The Los Angeles Times, "Wendy Davis to announce run for Texas governor, Democrats say," September 26, 2013
  5. The Dallas Morning News, "Wendy Davis will run for governor and plans formal announcement in October," September 26, 2013
  6. ABC News, "Democrat Wendy Davis Running for Texas Governor," October 3, 2013
  7. MartinDale.com, "Wendy R. Davis Lawyer Profile," accessed may 27, 2014
  8. The Senate of Texas, "Texas Senator," accessed May 24, 2014
  9. businessinsider.com, "Texas Filibuster Kills Controversial Abortion Bill," June 26, 2013
  10. Reuters, "Texas passes abortion restriction bill, governor certain to sign," July 13, 2013
  11. 11.0 11.1 Slate, "Wendy Davis's Post-Filibuster Haul: $1.2 Million," August 30, 2013
  12. Politico, "Wendy Davis raised $1.2M after filibuster," August 29, 2013
  13. The Star-Telegram, "Is Sen. Wendy Davis poised for statewide race?," January 19, 2013
  14. Politico, "Wendy Davis aide: 2014 run for governor possible," June 26, 2013
  15. NPR, "Texas' Democratic Darling Will Decide On Governor's Race Soon," August 5, 2013
  16. RealClearPolitics, "Texas Governor - Abbott vs. Davis," accessed July 11, 2013
  17. The Dallas Morning News, "At labor breakfast, Democrats continue to urge Texas Sen. Wendy Davis to run for governor," September 4, 2013
  18. USA Today, "Wendy Davis to announce Texas campaign plans," September 18, 2013
  19. The New York Times, "Texas’ Davis Is Expected to Enter Race for Governor," September 26, 2013
  20. Washington Post, "Wendy Davis announces run for Texas governor," October 3, 2013
  21. Emily's List, "EMILY’s List Endorses Wendy Davis for Governor of Texas," October 4, 2013
  22. Wendy Davis for Governor, " Issues," accessed November 19, 2013
  23. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  24. 24.0 24.1 The Dallas Morning News, "As Wendy Davis touts life story in race for governor, key facts blurred," January 21, 2014
  25. The Houston Chronicle, "Wendy Davis' story may have misstated details," January 21, 2014
  26. Watchdog.org, "Complaint: Wendy Davis failed to disclose income, lobbyist ties," January 30, 2014
  27. 27.0 27.1 Texas Secretary of State, "1992 - Current Election History," accessed February 17, 2014
  28. star-telegram.com, "State Senate races in Tarrant drawing big bucks," January 18, 2012
  29. Follow the Money, "2008 Candidate funds," accessed May 24, 2014
  30. Follow the Money, "Davis, Wendy R," accessed August 21, 2013
  31. Empower Texans, "Fiscal Responsibility Index," accessed February 22, 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Kim Brimer
Texas Senate District 10
Succeeded by