In my latest column, I suggested Democratic donors begin a national effort to define key 2014 races and support -- generously -- massive new initiatives to register and turn out voters.
Here I suggest Texas Democrats put the Lone Star State at the forefront of key races in 2014 by supporting and potentially drafting State Sen. Wendy Davis (D) to run for governor of Texas and end the arrogant, far-right and crony capitalist era of Texas GOP rule.
As I write these words, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) are using a special session of the Legislature to pursue their pet projects of disenfranchising Texas Hispanic and blacks voters, and destroying abortion rights for women.
Meanwhile, Davis is battling for the voting rights of Hispanics and all Texans, and standing up for the rights of women on multiple fronts. The future of Texas can be found in leaders such as Davis and the brilliant Mayor of San Antonio, Julian Castro.
The future of Texas will not be found in voices who prefer a Texas in which Hispanics are second-class citizens when they seek to vote and women are second class citizens when they seek to live their lives as they choose and seek a good job and a fair wage. Davis would make an outstanding governor of Texas in the tradition of former Gov. Ann Richards (D) and former U.S. Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D).
Davis is what Ted Sorensen once called John F. Kennedy: an idealist without illusions. She is a leader with a vision and a fighter with a heart. The great appeal of Sen. Wendy Davis can be found in the fact that she has lived the words she once said to the Texas Tribune: "[P]eople are hungry for leadership that is not afraid of political consequence" and "when people think that someone is standing up and fighting for them it gives them hope."
Davis is a voice of courage and conviction as she battles on behalf of Texas schoolchildren and teachers, stands up for heroic veterans, fights for the rights of consumers, champions the interests of senior citizens, advocates the cause of farmers, and battles for voting rights and economic opportunity for all Texans. Davis stands for the proposition that every woman and man and every boy and girl should live in a Texas that lets them succeed based on hard work and a fair chance.
Make no mistake, if Davis runs for governor, it would be the hard battle of a generation that would face odds less than, but not much less than, 50-50. But make no mistake about this either: A widely popular leader of courage and conviction, who would inspire outpourings of support from women and Hispanics and young people and broaden that with support from others she has been fighting for throughout her career, offers the sweet scent of success for Democrats and Texans ready to claim the future.
In my latest column calling for massive voter registration, I described myself as an unabashed Kennedy Democrat and a super-hawk against those Democrats who seem to move perpetually in retreat.
National Democrats and Texas Democrats and all Democrats have to regain that fighting spirit embodied by Jack Kennedy and my former boss, mentor and ultimately friend Lloyd M. Bentsen. If you are tired of the crony corruption, arrogant extremism and anti-Hispanic, anti-woman, anti-poor, anti-environment, anti-voting rights, anti-equality, and anti-consumer attitude problem that is now the Texas Republican Party, it is imperative and very possible to elect a governor who is a pro-woman, pro-worker, pro-equality, pro-voting rights, pro-veteran, pro-teacher, pro-student, pro-environment, pro-senior champion of the future whose name is Wendy Davis.
I am hereby urging Davis to run and hope Democrats throughout Texas will do the same.