Democrats aren’t playing coy anymore; they want Wendy Davis to run for governor of Texas.
The state senator, who became a national phenomenon when she filibustered an anti-abortion bill in the state legislature for 13 hours, says that she will decide on a gubernatorial run by Labor Day.
In the meantime, Democratic groups, including Battleground Texas (a Obama-world effort to turn Texas from red to blue), have launched a “We Want Wendy” campaign, designed to stir up her supporters and demonstrate that she has a pre-groomed base of support.
“We have seen that Wendy Davis is a unique leader in Texas; she has a brand that Texans would identify with and she would make a fantastic governor,” Jenn Brown, executive director of Battleground Texas told ABC News. “We’re focused on trying to show her how much support there is out here for her and how ready volunteers and activists are for her.”
Initially, it seemed that Texas Democrats were of two minds when it came to whether Davis should launch a long-shot bid to be the state’s next governor in 2014.
On the one hand, Davis had a unique opportunity in this race to capitalize on her new-found celebrity and powerful personal story as someone who went from being a single mother to graduating from Harvard Law School. But Davis would have to give up her state senate seat, which is a swing district for Democrats, and the campaign would likely be expensive and grueling at a time when the state still leans heavily Republican.
She would run against Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s heir apparent, Attorney General Greg Abbott, who would have deep pocketed Republicans nation-wide behind him.
Brown said that there is a consensus now that Davis should take advantage of the momentum from her filibuster to motivate Democrats in the state with a potentially insurgent candidacy. Also on board are Annie’s List, a group dedicated to electing Democratic women, the Lone Star Project, and the state Democratic Party.
Battleground Texas is giving out “We Want Wendy” stickers to supporters who add their name to the group’s mailing list.
It is reminiscent of the effort by “Ready for Hillary,” a super PAC not directly affiliated with the former secretary of state and first lady, to build support for a potential Hillary Clinton presidential campaign in 2016.
The idea is start gathering the names, emails and addresses that can be transformed into grassroots donations and volunteer power if and when a Davis campaign launches.
Battleground Texas, which was founded in part by President Obama’s grassroots guru Jeremy Bird, has been hoping to cultivate a more Democratic voting base in Texas in part through voter registration and an effort to move Democrats off the sidelines and into full organizing mode.
Their expertise in digital campaigning and organizing could be a boon to Davis, should she decide to run.
Earlier this week, an adviser to Davis confirmed to ABC News that she hasn’t yet decided and will make a formal announcement in a few weeks.