Texas state senator Wendy Davis is turning heads once again in her bid to take the Texas Governor’s Mansion from Republican hands, having announced a record-setting fund-raising achievement of $12.2 million since her announcement of candidacy in October. The financial disclosure/announcement shows Davis has raised nearly a million dollars more than her Republican opponent, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.
Following her 11-hour filibuster against a recent anti-choice bill which sought to curb the reproductive health rights of women throughout the state, political analysts from across the nation jumped at the chance to speculate as to the political future for the underdog progressive crusader.
With her actions and bold stance against the bill which sought to effectively destroy women’s health and abortion clinics throughout the state, progressives and pro-choice activists throughout the country praised Davis and showered her with online expressions of support and thanks, which coupled with the massive public demonstrations in state which her stand inspired, seemed to have only added fuel to this bold, Lone Star upstart.
Texas is frequently regarded as one of the reddest of red states, having produced such regressive intellectual gems such as Rick Perry and Ron Paul, who in their own rights represent both the theocratic neoconservative and quasi-anarchistic libertarian elements within the GOP.
Proudly pro-gun, anti-choice, pro-oil and anti-environment, Texas and its strong conservative base has for decades now seemed to have been engaged in a race with states such as Arizona and Florida for producing some of the most strong arm authoritarian and right wing conservative laws in the country. And yet with this recent announcement of Sen. Davis’ record setting fund raising as she attempts to paint the governor’s mansion blue, many are beginning to wonder if this is not just the latest sign of the rapidly crumbling popular appeal of the American right.
Whether Davis’ candidacy and early lead in campaign fund raising are indicators of a larger, macro-political shift throughout the nation, has yet to be seen. However as the GOP struggles to keep its Tea Party and Libertarian factions in line and watches as its most promising stars and heroes fall victim to their own devious ways, bold progressives such as Davis, even in the heart of ultra-nationalist regressive Texas, are stepping forward to offer Americans and even Texans, progressive leadership as we continue forward into a troubling and uncertain future.