Wendy Davis Announces Run for Congress in Texas

Wendy Davis, a former Texas Senator famously known for filibustering against a restrictive abortion bill in 2013, announced her campaign for U.S. Congress this week.


The bill that resulted in her epic 13-hour filibuster, aimed at increasing regulations of clinics and banning abortions past 20 weeks, eventually passed—as have many more restrictive abortion laws since Davis stood on the Texas Senate floor in her pink running shoes. But her ongoing commitment to women’s rights is the catalyst driving her towards running for Congress in 2020.

Davis’ display of courage and tenacity on the State Congress floor six years ago propelled her into the national spotlight overnight, and voters and women’s advocacy groups have been empowered by her life story ever since.

Wendy Davis on the cover of Ms.’s Fall 2013 issue.

Raised in Texas, Davis struggled through high school and by 19, had a child, become married, then divorced. As a single mother living in a trailer park in Texas, she became the first person in her family to graduate college and soon attended Harvard Law School.

Her first campaign video, released yesterday, features footage of her late father and highlights her family and humble upbringings. Clips of her filibuster and speeches given at rallies and events for her non-profit, Deeds for Change, flash across the screen as she discusses her motivation for running for Congress.

“But is life really about our circumstances and what we make of them?” Davis asks, “or those who we touch along the way, and the courage we gain from each other?”

Her campaign video also references previous forays into politics, both successful and unsuccessful.

“I’ve learned I’m at my best when I am fighting for others,” said Davis. “And even in losing, we shape the future. Because it isn’t personal achievements or failures that make change; it’s working together to fight for what matters.”

Davis plans to run on a platform advocating “the issues that matter in everyday lives”—such as affordable health care, as Texas residents are some the most uninsured in the country. She includes abortion access in that message.

“It’s very clear where Americans stand on this issue. The vast majority believe that Roe v. Wade should stand,” Davis said in an interview with MSNBC yesterday. “That is something I am known to support. I will continue making sure that I carry the message on and continue to fight for as a part of this campaign and as a congressional member if I have the privilege of representing this district in the future.”


Rachel Kennedy is an Editorial Intern at Ms. and Associate Opinion Editor for The Daily Princetonian. A Bostonian by birth and a feminist by choice, she hopes to empower women by sharing their stories. She is particularly interested in covering maternal healthcare, women activists, pop culture, and politics. Rachel currently studies History, Journalism, and African American studies at Princeton University.