Wendy Davis to challenge GOP Rep. Chip Roy for Texas seat

Former Texas state Senator Wendy Davis who gained nationwide fame for her 2013 filibuster of abortion restrictions in the state Senate is setting her sights on Washington — mounting a challenge to Republican incumbent Chip Roy in Texas’ 21st Congressional District. 

“I’m running to be a voice for every Texan who feels forgotten by a broken political system,” said Davis in her social media rollout video Monday morning. “It’s time to make Washington listen.”

In the four-minute announcement, which includes video of her abortion filibuster, Davis acknowledged her past political losses, most recently her gubernatorial campaign against Republican Greg Abbott, which she lost in a 20-point landslide. She said that she has learned, “I’m at my best when I’m fighting for my people and even in losing, we helped shape the future.”

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Davis captured national attention in 2013 when, as a state senator, she stood and spoke on the the floor of the Texas legislature for 13 hours to delay the passage of sweeping new abortion restrictions in the state. 

While technically neutral in primaries, Texas Democratic Party executive director Manny Garcia said the party is “excited” she’s in the race and described Davis as a “fierce fighter, advocate, and voice for millions left unheard.”

Roy – a Republican who used to be Sen. Ted Cruz’s chief of staff –  is a staunch conservative and a member of the House Freedom Caucus who is also backed by the Club for Growth. Roy has also expressed strong support for the president’s strict immigration policies. A Democrat has not won in the district, which stretches from Austin to San Antonio, since the 1970s.

National Republican Congressional Committee Spokesman Bob Salera scoffed at Davis’ campaign in a statement.  

“Texans resoundingly rejected Davis and her socialist agenda 5 years ago, and will do so again in 2020,” Salera said in a statement. 

Ellee Watson contributed reporting. 

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