Wendy Davis, whose bid for governor of Texas in 2014 failed spectacularly, announced Thursday night that she would be running for Congress.
Davis made the announcement during a Texas Observer award gala, according to Texas Monthly politics editor Forrest Wilder, who tweeted out the news. As The Washington Free Beacon’s Brent Scher reported, others confirmed the announcement. Davis will be running against Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), who was elected to the seat in 2018 after Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) announced he would not seek re-election. Smith had held the seat since 1987. His predecessor, Tom Loeffler, was also a Republican.
The Free Beacon’s Scher, who in 2016 purchased Davis’ famous tennis shoes that she wore during her filibuster, received comment about Davis’ run from the National Republican Congressional Committee. A spokesman said, “Congratulations to Rep. Chip Roy on his reelection!"
Davis’ 2014 attempt at the governor’s seat was so bad she made Texas redder and couldn’t even win over Texas women. Naturally, “white women” were blamed for this, since Davis won black and Hispanic women. She won black women 94% to eventual winner Greg Abbott’s 5%, and Latino women 69% to Abbott’s 39%.
Davis, you may recall, rose to national fame because she filibustered a Texas bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks (five months). This prominence led her to seek the governor’s house, but she failed miserably. She was supposed to be the Democrats’ “war on women” candidate, but her campaign failed to make the accusation stick against Abbott or convince Texas women they were oppressed.
In fact, Davis performed worse than the previous Democrat attempts at the governorship. Polls showed she would lose by 10 points, but she actually ended up losing by 20 points. Texas Democrats hadn’t been so obliterated in a gubernatorial election in 15 years, when George W. Bush beat Democrat Garry Mauro by 37 points.
Davis’ campaign was marred by several high-profile errors, the biggest of which came in the form of a campaign ad attacking Abbott. The notorious “Empty Wheelchair” ad, uses Abbott’s disability to claim he didn’t, as a lawyer, care about plaintiffs seeking damages. A tree fell on Abbott when he was 26 years old, paralyzing him from the waist down. He was able to sue the homeowner and a tree care company for $6 million. Democrats and Republicans alike criticized the ad. The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake even accused Davis of “running one of the nastiest campaign ads you will ever see.”
Davis, while running for governor, was also included in an FBI investigation of the North Texas Tollway Authority. She had voted on bills that benefited some of her legal clients.
She also lied about her support for an open-carry gun law to try and get elected, which didn’t work.
Finally, during the campaign, Davis was accused of “blurring” the facts about her life, neglecting to acknowledge that shortly after her husband paid for her Harvard Law School education, she left him. He received parental custody of the couple’s 14-year-old daughter.
But perhaps after failed Texas Senate candidate Robert “Beto” O’Rourke decided to run for president, and failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams became a Democrat hero, Davis thinks outside money could be used to flip a Texas House seat for another failed candidate. That is, if anyone even remembers who she is.