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Wendy Davis Raises $1.2M After Abortion Filibuster

Image: Wendy Davis Raises $1.2M After Abortion Filibuster

Thursday, 29 Aug 2013 10:42 PM

By Cathy Burke

Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis raised $1.2 million -- nearly 40 percent of it from out of the state -- in the six weeks following her stunning 11-hour filibuster to block an abortion bill, the Dallas Morning News reported Thursday.

The cash infusion will go a long way in Davis' upcoming campaign -- though she hasn't announced if the run will be for governor or for another term as state senator.

“I can say with absolute certainty that I will run for one of two offices: either my state Senate seat or the governor,” she said earlier this month at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., The Hill reported.

According to a story in the New York Times, liberal groups see her candidacy for governor as a way to energize the Democrats in a GOP stronghold. And they hope to force the Republican Governors' Association to have to spend millions in Texas -- as much as $40 million -- on the governor's race, diverting funds from competitive races in Ohio, Florida and Michigan.

“The R.G.A. would probably have to waste resources there, which is compelling to us,” said an official of Democratic Governors' Association.

Davis grabbed her state's -- and national -- attention with a June 25 filibuster against an abortion-restriction bill; the move helped shut down the Texas Senate and prompted Gov. Rick Perry to call lawmakers back into another special session in July.

In that session, lawmakers passed the bill banning abortion after 20 weeks and imposing restrictions critics predicted would close most abortion clinics in Texas.

Davis said Thursday she'll decide in a few weeks about a run for governor, the newspaper said.

She has spent most of August in talks about the viability of a race for governor, although analysts put the chances of her success somewhere between a long shot and a pipe dream.

According to her finance report, between the filibuster through July, Davis raised $793,800 from Texas and nearly $470,000 from donors outside Texas.

Her biggest donor states were California ($103,694), New York ($68,764) and the Washington DC area ($59,000).

The Dallas Morning News noted during the legislature's second special session in July, Davis raised $412,000, most from small contributions.

Her biggest out-of-state donors were labor unions and Planned Parenthood. Others include $2,500 from California film producer Regina Scully, whose recent documentaries deal with the subjects of rape in the military and law professor Anita Hill; $2,500 from Eugene Zagat of New York, publisher of the dining guide; and $500 from Kirk Adams, husband of Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, the newspaper reported.

EMILY's List has also helped her fundraising efforts. The group, which raises money for Democratic women who support abortion rights, has had Davis speak at a number of their events, The Hill reported.

The last Democratic governor of Texas was Ann Richards, who served from 1991 to 1995. George W. Bush succeeded her.

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