Wendy Davis to Run for Governor of Texas

Wendy Davis, the Texas state senator who catapulted from obscurity to fame with her more than 11-hour filibuster, will run for governor, according to Texas and Democratic Party officials.

Davis began informing Democratic officials in D.C. and Texas of her decision today, but a formal announcement is planned for Oct. 3 in Texas.

Davis, 50, has been encouraged by Democrats to launch her gubernatorial bid after she rallied the party's base with her attempt to block an anti-abortion bill from passing in the state legislature in June. She initially succeeded in blocking the bill, but it eventually passed in a second special session called by Republican Gov. Rick Perry.

Many Democrats in Texas and nationally view Davis as the party's best chance to compete in a state that has not elected a Democrat as governor since Ann Richards was elected in 1990. Richards, the second female governor of the state, is also the mother of Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards.

Davis would face Attorney General Gregg Abbott in what is likely to be an expensive and potentially bitter race.

Already, the waters have been muddied by name calling, since Davis became essentially a household name after her filibuster.

Republican pundit Erick Erickson rallied his own conservative base by dubbing Davis "abortion Barbie."

Davis has also been doing her part to court Democratic funds that she would need to successfully run. She has made several visits to Washington in the weeks after her filibuster.

And people close to Davis said that her ability to raise enough money to sustain a campaign would be a major factor in her decision to run.