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Former Texas Republican Party Chair Tom Pauken is ending his campaign for governor saying he can no longer ask supporters and conservatives for help when there is "no realistic path to victory."

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Attorney General Greg Abbott, the leading Republican candidate for governor, was in Plano Tuesday to focus on schools.  It was the first of his statewide visits before finalizing his education policy. His likely Democratic opponent, Wendy Davis, wasn’t there, but she was still part of the discussion.

Wendy Davis made headlines earlier this year with her abortion rights filibuster heard around the nation. In September and October, she teased the Texas body politic with her gubernatorial guessing game.

After bursting into the race in early October with a big announcement in Fort Worth, the Davis campaign has hit the ground running, from Brownsville, to … Pharr, Texas?

So where’s Wendy Davis? That's what Paul Burka is asking.

The current dean of Texas political writers and senior executive editor at Texas Monthly, Burka sat down with KUT’s David Brown to discuss the Davis campaign. 

 

Texas Senate

Six-term Democratic State Senator Leticia Van de Putte made her candidacy for lieutenant governor official on Saturday.  She told a crowd of some 500 in near her home in San Antonio that "Mama ain't happy." 

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Democrat Wendy Davis may be a candidate for governor, but Tuesday night in Dallas she became a central part of a debate among Republicans running for lieutenant governor.

Attorney General Greg Abbott, the leading candidate for the Republican nomination for Texas governor, holds a single-digit lead over the likely Democratic nominee, state Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

In a head-to-head race, Abbott got 40 percent of registered voters to Davis’ 34 percent, with 25 percent of the voters undecided. In a three-way general election, he would get 40 percent, Davis would get 35 percent and Libertarian Kathie Glass would get 5 percent.

“What you’ve got is a race in which, for the first time in a long time, the Democrat is as well-known as the Republican at the outset of the race,” said poll co-director Daron Shaw, a professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin.

A leading Democratic candidate for Wendy Davis’ Senate seat has indicated he will not be running in 2014, leaving the party with a smaller margin of error in the Texas Senate.

Some in the Texas Democratic Party believed Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns would be the person to take over in Davis’ district because he has bipartisan support, but this week Burns announced he would not be running in 2014.

State Sen. Wendy Davis isn't the only governor's candidate who needs an affidavit to vote in the Nov. 5 election.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott will need one, too, Matt Hirsch, his campaign spokesman, told the San Antonio Express-News.

The newspaper reports that Abbott has a different name on his driver's license than what's on the voter rolls. Davis faced a similar issue on Monday when she voted early in Fort Worth.

Shutterstock

Update, 7:52 p.m. Monday: A federal judge has ruled that new abortion restrictions passed by the Texas Legislature are unconstitutional and should not take effect as planned on Tuesday. Texas officials immediately appealed the ruling, and the case could eventually head to the U.S. Supreme Court.

District Judge Lee Yeakel blocked one part of the restriction, while allowing another provision to stand.

Yeakel ruled that a state provision that requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion facility "places a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus."

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Sen. Wendy Davis, a Democratic candidate for governor, had to sign an affidavit before she was allowed to vote early in Fort Worth on Monday. 

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Add gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis to the growing list of women who are having problems voting because of Texas' new photo ID law.

Davis, a Democratic state senator, was voting early in Fort Worth on Monday when poll workers made her sign an affidavit to verify her identity.

Why?

Texas Tribune

Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns emailed supporters Wednesday with news that he will not run for the Texas Senate seat Wendy Davis now holds.

Burns said the "job he wants most" is the one he already has on the council.  

Burns was the Democrats' top pick to compete succeed Davis in Senate District 10 which leans Republican. 

PolitiFact.com

On the day that state Sen. Wendy Davis announced her candidacy for governor, Texas Right To Life released an ad claiming that Davis, a Fort Worth Democrat, "opposes any limits on abortion." 

PolitiFact Texas researched the claim and rated it "false."   Here's the analysis.  

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

In Dallas on Monday, Attorney General Greg Abbott defended a new state abortion law being challenged in federal court this week.

Texas Tribune

Media coverage of the race for governor has focused on a likely battle between Democrat Wendy Davis and Republican Greg Abbott.  But another Republican, Former State GOP Party Chair Tom Pauken, says Abbott’s reluctance to answer questions gives him an opportunity to be heard. 

KERA’s Shelley Kofler talked with Pauken, 59, about his primary opponent, education and his uphill campaign.

Republican Party of Texas

The Republican Party of Texas has wasted no time in trying to pin a liberal label on Democrat Wendy Davis who announced her bid for governor Thursday.

Dane Walters / KERA News

Today, on her first full day as a candidate for governor, State Senator Wendy Davis, will make her case to business leaders at the Fort Worth Rotary Club. Advisers say it’s important for the Democratic contender to combat the “liberal” label opponents want to pin on her.

Jerod Foster / Texas Tribune

Here’s the 411 on the likely general-election matchup for governor in 2014. In one corner: Wendy Davis, the Democratic state senator who announced her bid Thursday in the Fort Worth suburb of Haltom City. In the other: Greg Abbott, the Texas attorney general who’s the front-runner for the Republican nomination, if he can get past former state GOP chairman Tom Pauken.

Dane Walters / KERA News

Update, 5:26 p.m.: In front of hundreds of boisterous supporters, Wendy Davis, the state senator and Fort Worth Democrat, announced that she’s running for Texas governor.

"All of you deserve to have your voices heard because our future is brightest when it’s lit by everyone’s star," Davis said. "And that’s why today I am proud to announce my candidacy to be the 48th governor of this great state."

Davis spoke for about 15 minutes at the Wiley G. Thomas Coliseum in Haltom City, where she received her high school diploma more than 30 years ago.

Texas Tribune

A new statewide poll released Wednesday shows Republican Greg Abbott with an eight-point lead over Democrat Wendy Davis in the Texas governor’s race.

The poll, conducted by the Texas Lyceum, shows Abbott, the Texas Attorney General, leading with 29 percent. Davis, the Fort Worth Democrat, has 21 percent.

But most registered voters don’t know who will get their vote – 50 percent are undecided.

Texas Tribune

They didn’t appear together or talk about each other, but this weekend voters had a chance to take a closer look at the likely nominees for governor. 

Courtney Collins / KERA News

A little more than a year ago, at the Democratic National Convention, a new voice arrived on the national stage. That voice belonged to Julián Castro, the mayor of San Antonio, who got the coveted prime-time convention slot that once served as a launching pad for Barack Obama and before that, Bill Clinton. Castro was re-elected in May, but his national profile has stayed high, thanks to campaign-style trips across the country. And he’s the first guest in the new KERA series “The Friday Conversation.” During a visit to the Federal Reserve in Dallas this week, he sat down with KERA’s vice president of news, Rick Holter.

Wendy Davis campaign / KERA News

She’s in.

Texas Sen. Wendy Davis plans to run for governor. That’s according to The Associated Press, citing sources familiar with her plans.

There’s been plenty of speculation in recent weeks.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Next week State Senator Wendy Davis, a Fort Worth Democrat, will officially tell us whether she plans to run for governor.

State Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa says Davis hasn't confided in him but he thinks he knows what she’ll say.

Callie Richmond / Texas Tribune

State Senator Wendy Davis says she'll announce her political plans on Oct. 3, a little more than two weeks from now.

Texas Tribune

Political advisors to State Senator Wendy Davis say the Fort Worth Democrat will have an update on her possible run for governor as early as this week.

KERA’s Jerome Weeks offers a deeper look at local theater legend Jerry Russell, who died Thursday following complications from abdominal surgery. He was 77. Jerome spoke with Russell’s widow, who offered her thoughts on his life -- and his impact. Russell’s daughter is State Sen. Wendy Davis, who had delayed her decision on whether to run for Texas governor so she could care for him. Jerome reports that Russell wasn’t just talented on the stage – he was a savvy business manager, too. When he opened Stage West in Fort Worth, he didn’t trust the stage to provide a steady livelihood. So he opened a sandwich shop next door.

Texas Sen. Wendy Davis has sent a letter to President Obama asking his administration to reconsider opposition to the merger of American Airlines and US Airways. 

Davis, a Democrat, represents parts of Fort Worth which is where American Airlines resides.

Davis tells the president thousands of jobs will be lost in Texas and around the country if the merger does not succeed.  She says she disagrees with U.S. Justice Department claims that a merger between the two airlines will reduce competition and raise consumer prices 

Office of Sen. Wendy Davis

With Republicans Greg Abbott and Tom Pauken already campaigning for governor, Texans want to know whether Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth will challenge them from the Democratic side.

Texas Tribune

It appears State Sen. Wendy Davis’s filibuster did more than temporarily derail the abortion bill.

It also sparked a fundraising frenzy that netted her $933,000 in the final two weeks of June.

That means Davis, a Fort Worth Democrat, has more than one million dollars in the bank as she considers whether to run for governor.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott meanwhile collected  $4.78 million during the final two weeks of June and has more than $20 million available for his campaign.

Here’s the breakdown in donations provided by Davis’ office:

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