US & Canada

Filibustering Texas Senator Wendy Davis runs for governor

Sen Wendy Davis celebrates her successful filibuster of a Republican anti-abortion bill in Austin, Texas, on 26 June 2013
Image caption Sen Davis managed to speak for nearly 11 hours straight in June - forcing a Republican anti-abortion bill to be ruled out of time

Wendy Davis, the Democratic Texas state senator who won fame trying to block anti-abortion legislation with a marathon speech, is running for Texas governor.

In a speech declaring her candidacy, she said she would bring people together "to get things done".

Sen Davis's successful rise from a trailer park and motherhood as a single teenager has inspired her supporters.

But her opponents are dubbing her an "abortion zealot".

Sen Davis spoke for nearly 11 hours in June, using a tactic known as a filibuster, preventing legislators from voting on a Republican bill seeking to impose tough new restrictions on access to abortion in the state.

Image caption Sen Davis's candidacy has already galvanised her opponents

The bill was later passed and signed into law by current Republican Gov Rick Perry, who is retiring from office in 2014 after three terms.

Every elected office in the state has been held by Republicans since 1994.

Fundraising challenge

Speaking to supporters in the town where she attended high school, Haltom City, Sen Davis said she would unite people around the goals of improving public education, economic development and healthcare.

"Texans don't want to sit back and watch Austin turn into Washington DC," Sen Davis said, referring to the partisan battles paralysing national politics.

"State leaders in power keep forcing people to opposite corners to prepare for a fight instead of coming together to get things done."

Sen Davis has an uphill struggle securing the financial backing to take on the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, Attorney General Gregg Abbott, who has raised $25m (£15m) to her more than $1m.

More on this story