Texas state Senator Wendy Davis is launching her campaign for governor from the coliseum where she received her high school diploma, in Fort Worth suburb Haltom City on Thursday.
The Fort Worth Democrat, famous for her filibuster against the state's sweeping abortion restrictions, has amassed national attention and millions in donations since. Shortly before her announcement, Davis tweeted "I'm in it. For Texas. #TeamWendy."
Ahead of the her gubernatorial rally, supporters and opponents alike gathered, and anti-abortion protestors are making themselves heard.
One 75-year-old posted a large sign on his fence in Haltom City which read "Wendy Baby Killer." Dennis Harris, who made the sign, said simply, “I don’t like that lady."
Even if she wins the Democratic nomination, Davis will face an uphill battle against the extremely well-funded Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott or former GOP Party Chairman Tom Pauken, the two main Republican contenders.
Even though Davis is unlikely to win the state's top office, Democrats believe her campaign will further raise the profile of growing Democratic swaths in the state, and as a bonus, encourage more women to run for political office.
“If she’s going to run, this is the time,” said Matthew Eshbaugh-Soba, associate professor of political science at the University of North Texas in Denton. “She had this defining event that put her in the best position to run for governor until the demographic shifts that everyone is predicting occur in the future, shifting Texas from red to blue."
“Is it going to be enough to help the Democrats win the governor’s mansion next year? I think the answer is going to be no," Eshbaugh-Soba said.