Wendy Davis
American politician
Wendy Davis
Wendy Davis is a state senator representing District 10 in the Texas Senate. She previously served on the Fort Worth city council.
Biography
Wendy Davis's personal information overview.
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Relationships
View family, career and love interests for Wendy Davis
News
News abour Wendy Davis from around the web
Democrats Hoping ‘Trump Effect’ Would Drive Latino Turnout Neglected Engagement Work
Huffington Post - 4 months
On Sept. 5, 2014, Democratic National Committee leaders received a proposal for a plan to boost the Hispanic voter turnout rate using direct mail, phone calls, radio ads and news media appearances. The plan urged that the party focus on Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas. The cost: $3 million. “While a strong Democratic allegiance is good for the Party, less than half of eligible Hispanics cast a ballot in 2012,” the proposal reads. “The challenge is not persuading Latinos to vote for Democrats ― our challenge in 2014 is TURNOUT.” [Emphasis in the original.] The plan was ultimately nixed. The author of the proposal, then-DNC Hispanic Engagement Director Albert Morales, stayed at the committee until 2016, trying to cobble together a budget to build a robust Latino engagement effort. While Democrats publicly gloated about the country’s changing demographics, Morales worried his party wouldn’t capitalize on the shift. The Republican National Committee, des ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Wendy Davis Calls Group That Doctored Planned Parenthood Videos 'Liars'
Huffington Post - about 1 year
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Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Why 100 People Shared Their Abortion Stories With The Entire Internet
Huffington Post - about 1 year
A campaign is elevating women's voices and stories for an important reason. On Tuesday, 100 people shared their personal stories about and experiences with abortion during a 6-hour YouTube livestream. This is the second annual abortion speakout created by the 1 in 3 Campaign, which is a project that's working to end the stigma and shame around abortion.  The speakout took place only days before the 43rd anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling. The Supreme Court's November 2015 decision to hear the Texas abortion case Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole also prompted this year's abortion speakout. The hearing has the potential to shut down most of the abortion clinics in Texas.  The livestream included people of all genders skyping in to the 1 In 3 hosts to tell their abortion stories. Some stories were told live on-air, while others were pre-recorded. Many of the stories were told by women who have had abortions and others were told by men who have some experience with abort ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Why 100 People Shared Their Abortion Stories With The Entire Internet
Huffington Post - about 1 year
A campaign is elevating women's voices and stories for an important reason. On Tuesday, 100 people shared their personal stories about and experiences with abortion during a 6-hour YouTube livestream. This is the second annual abortion speakout created by the 1 in 3 Campaign, which is a project that's working to end the stigma and shame around abortion.  The speakout took place only days before the 43rd anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling. The Supreme Court's November 2015 decision to hear the Texas abortion case Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole also prompted this year's abortion speakout. The hearing has the potential to shut down most of the abortion clinics in Texas.  The livestream included people of all genders skyping in to the 1 In 3 hosts to tell their abortion stories. Some stories were told live on-air, while others were pre-recorded. Many of the stories were told by women who have had abortions and others were told by men who have some experience with abort ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Why 100 People Shared Their Abortion Stories With The Entire Internet
Huffington Post - about 1 year
A campaign is elevating women's voices and stories for an important reason. On Tuesday, 100 people shared their personal stories about and experiences with abortion during a 6-hour YouTube livestream. This is the second annual abortion speakout created by the 1 in 3 Campaign, which is a project that's working to end the stigma and shame around abortion.  The speakout took place only days before the 43rd anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling. The Supreme Court's November 2015 decision to hear the Texas abortion case Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole also prompted this year's abortion speakout. The hearing has the potential to shut down most of the abortion clinics in Texas.  The livestream included people of all genders skyping in to the 1 In 3 hosts to tell their abortion stories. Some stories were told live on-air, while others were pre-recorded. Many of the stories were told by women who have had abortions and others were told by men who have some experience with abort ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Why 100 People Shared Their Abortion Stories With The Entire Internet
Huffington Post - about 1 year
A campaign is elevating women's voices and stories for an important reason. On Tuesday, 100 people shared their personal stories about and experiences with abortion during a 6-hour YouTube livestream. This is the second annual abortion speakout created by the 1 in 3 Campaign, which is a project that's working to end the stigma and shame around abortion.  The speakout took place only days before the 43rd anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling. The Supreme Court's November 2015 decision to hear the Texas abortion case Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole also prompted this year's abortion speakout. The hearing has the potential to shut down most of the abortion clinics in Texas.  The livestream included people of all genders skyping in to the 1 In 3 hosts to tell their abortion stories. Some stories were told live on-air, while others were pre-recorded. Many of the stories were told by women who have had abortions and others were told by men who have some experience with abort ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Wendy Davis: Why I'm talking about my abortions
CNN - about 1 year
Ahead of its Supreme Court review, Wendy Davis says she wants to put a human face on a Texas law she says is a sham aimed at denying women's abortion rights.
Article Link:
CNN article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Wendy Davis
    FIFTIES
  • 2015
    Age 51
    Davis in 2015 began working as the executive co-producer of on a proposed television series for NBC about a fictitious "female Democratic senator who, after losing the Texas governor's race, gets her world turned upside down."
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  • 2014
    Age 50
    Before she ran for governor in 2014, Davis had worked in a firm headed by black Republican Bryan Newby, who had been general counsel to then Governor Rick Perry.
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    Davis drew a two-year term and was up for re-election in November 2014.
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    On February 6, 2014, she expressed support for a proposed open carry gun law in Texas, which was banned under Texas state law.
    More Details Hide Details The state senator from Fort Worth said such a law should allow private property owners to determine whether weapons could be openly carried on their property. She also said background checks and training requirements would "help ensure that only mentally stable, law-abiding citizens may carry, whether concealed or open." She later said that she believes municipalities should be able to decide whether the proposed open carry and existing concealed carry laws should be used in their limits. After losing the election, she said that she opposes open carry, and that "I made a quick decision on that with a very short conversation with my team and it wasn't really in keeping with what I think is the correct position on that issue". In 2000, Davis voted for Fort Worth's nondiscrimination ordinance based on sexual orientation.
    On February 11, 2014, Davis said that she would have supported a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, if the law adequately deferred to a woman and her doctor.
    More Details Hide Details She said she found the ban on abortions after 20 weeks to be the “least objectionable” provision in the abortion bill she filibustered last year. While on the Fort Worth City Council, Davis supported gun restrictions, including for gun shows at city facilities. In 2011, she voted against a bill that authorizes concealed handgun permit holders to carry concealed handguns while on the campus of an institution of higher education. In 2013, she voted for a bill establishing certain tax exemptions for firearms manufacturers, along with a bill that authorizes certain university students to transport a licensed handgun or ammunition in a locked motor vehicle on a college or university campus.
    On November 4, 2014, Davis lost the race to become governor by a landslide twenty percent margin.
    More Details Hide Details According to exit polls she only received 47% of the women voters in Texas. In reference to how well her campaign was run, Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post stated that "Wendy Davis was, by any measure, a massive disappointment" by receiving less than 40 percent of the vote in Texas. Upon examining Davis' voting record over her three terms in the Texas Senate, Mark P. Jones, the Chairman of the Department of Political Science at Rice University in Houston, concluded that Davis was the fourth most liberal senator out of the 31 state senators who served during at least two of the three terms during which Davis had served. Jones found that she was "significantly more liberal" than John Whitmire, Juan Hinojosa, Carlos Uresti, and Eddie Lucio, Jr., who represent the centrist wing of the Texas Senate Democrats, "significantly more conservative" than José R. Rodríguez, the most liberal Texas Senate Democrat, and "statistically indistinguishable" from the other six Texas Senate Democrats.
    In October 2014, a Davis campaign ad was described by Aaron Blake of The Washington Post as "one of the nastiest campaign ads you will ever see."
    More Details Hide Details It attacks Abbott as being hypocritical for receiving monies from an accident which incapacitated him, and then, as Attorney General, supporting litigation limits on such payments. Mother Jones called the ad "offensive and nasty". MSNBC stated that the advertisement is probably "a hail mary effort" because Davis is trailing Abbott by double digits in the polls. In November 2014, Salon journalist Jenny Kutner reported that American Thinker writer Deborah C. Tyler came up with a last minute nickname for then gubernatorial candidate Davis, a "gynecist", a term Kutner felt was meant to be derogatory by Tyler, but according to Kutner, "actually sounds kind of awesome once she starts describing what it means: Gynecism promotes the political position that the primary and most essential power a female can hold is the control of her own sexual and genital functions."
    In August 2014, Davis released her first campaign ad, titled "A Texas Story."
    More Details Hide Details The ad attacked her rival, Abbott, for a Texas Supreme Court decision where he dissented. Diane Reese in the Washington Post called the advertisement "character assassination and fear-mongering".
    In January 2014, Wayne Slater, of the Dallas Morning News, reported that while the basic story in which Davis defined herself politically was true, the full story was "more complicated" and the short version Davis had been telling on the campaign trail "blurred" some facts.
    More Details Hide Details In particular, Slater noted Davis did not divorce until she was 21, not 19 as she had claimed, that she only lived in her family's mobile home for a few months after the divorce, and that she had been financially supported by Jeff Davis while at TCU and Harvard. Davis acknowledged the errors and said, "My language should be tighter. I’m learning about using broader, looser language. I need to be more focused on the detail." Amid the controversy, Davis' daughters each released letters in defense of their mother. Dru, Davis' younger daughter wrote, "I have been reading and hearing so many untrue things about my mom and I wanted to set the record straight."
    In the general election on November 4, 2014 she lost to Republican nominee Greg Abbott, the then-outgoing Texas Attorney General
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    On March 4, 2014, she won the Democratic nomination with 432,065 votes (79.1 percent), defeating her lone challenger, Reynaldo "Ray" Madrigal, who received 114,458 votes (20.9 percent).
    More Details Hide Details Davis was the first female nominee for Texas governor since Gov. Ann Richards was defeated in 1994 by George W. Bush.
    On February 11, 2014, Davis expressed support for decriminalizing cannabis.
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    On February 13, 2014, she expressed support for same-sex marriage and said that Attorney General Greg Abbott, her presumed general-election opponent in the race for governor, should stop defending the state's ban on same-sex marriage.
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    In January 2014, Human Rights Campaign endorsed Wendy Davis for Governor in 2014.
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    She subsequently ran for governor in 2014 but lost to Greg Abbott, 59-38 percent.
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  • FORTIES
  • 2013
    Age 49
    Davis' of counsel relationship with Cantey Hanger ended on December 31, 2013.
    More Details Hide Details She partnered with Brian Newby to open Newby Davis, PLLC in March 2010. Her current practice includes federal and local governmental affairs, litigation, economic development, contract compliance and real estate matters. During her time working for the title company Safeco, Wendy was paid an annual salary of $40,000 by her husband Jeff Davis, who told Robert Draper of the New York Times Magazine that he paid her the salary for her work for the city of Fort Worth as a council member, a job that paid little.
    On October 3, 2013, Davis announced her intention to run for Governor of Texas in the 2014 election.
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    On June 25, 2013, Davis performed a filibuster to block Senate Bill 5, a proposal to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, require abortion clinics to meet the same standards that hospital-style surgical centers do, and mandate that a doctor who performs abortions have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.
    More Details Hide Details She attempted to hold the floor until midnight, when the Senate's special session ended, after which it would no longer be able to vote on the measure. Following an 11-hour filibuster—ending three hours short of midnight—Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst ruled that Davis had gone off topic, forcing a vote on whether the filibuster could continue. Despite Republican efforts, parliamentary inquiries from Leticia R. Van de Putte and others as well as raucous cheering and yelling from the political activists gathered in the Capitol carried on through midnight and the close of the special session. Following the deadline, Republicans indicated that a vote had taken place and passed, while Democrats declared that the vote had taken place after midnight, making it void. Dewhurst later conceded that the bill was dead. The next day, Governor Rick Perry called for a second special session to allow for another attempt to pass the abortion restrictions, as well as to address other issues. The bill was eventually passed by both the House and the Senate in the July 2013 second special session, prompting one commentator to state that "Wendy Davis won the battle, but Rick Perry won the war." The bill was signed by Gov. Rick Perry on July 18, 2013.
    On October 3, 2013, she changed her mind and announced a candidacy for Texas Governor instead of re-election to the State Senate.
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    In March 2013, she announced her intention to run for re-election to the Senate.
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  • 2012
    Age 48
    She was reelected in 2012.
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    In January 2012, Davis was listed among "12 State Legislators to Watch in 2012" by Governing Magazine and was mentioned as a possible candidate for statewide races.
    More Details Hide Details Early in the 83rd Session, senators drew for terms in a post-redistricting, once-a-decade process.
    Davis was re-elected in 2012, defeating a challenge from Mark M. Shelton, a Fort Worth pediatrician and Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives, who was seeking the District 10 seat again in 2014.
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  • 2011
    Age 47
    In 2011, she authored the only LGBT-inclusive version of anti-bullying legislation and co-sponsored youth suicide prevention legislation and lobbied to kill an anti-transgender marriage bill.
    More Details Hide Details In 2013, she co-authored the Senate version of a statewide workplace nondiscrimination bill, co-authored inclusive insurance nondiscrimination legislation, and she was one of only two senators to voted against an anti-trans marriage bill.
  • 2009
    Age 45
    In 2009, Texas Monthly named her "Rookie of the Year".
    More Details Hide Details She was also chosen by the readers of Fort Worth Weekly as the "Best Servant of the People".
  • 2008
    Age 44
    In 2008, she defeated incumbent Republican Senator Kim Brimer for the seat, despite a legal challenge against her candidacy by the state Republican Party.
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  • 2005
    Age 41
    When the divorce settlement was finalized in 2005, the former couple shared "joint conservatorship" over Dru, who primarily lived with her father in the family home.
    More Details Hide Details In the divorce settlement, Jeff was given the "right to designate the primary residence" of Dru, and Wendy agreed to pay $1,200 a month in child support. Both parents retained the right to decisions about Dru's other needs; Amber was a young adult in college at that time.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1999
    Age 35
    Also, in April 1999, she gave $250 to former Republican President George W. Bush's first presidential campaign.
    More Details Hide Details Davis represented Texas Senate, District 10, which includes portions of Tarrant County, Texas.
    Subsequently, in 1999, Davis was elected to the Fort Worth City Council.
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  • 1996
    Age 32
    She voted in the Republican primaries in 1996, 1998 and 2006 and she has given $1,500 to Granger.
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    Davis first ran for the Fort Worth City Council in 1996, but was defeated by ninety votes.
    More Details Hide Details After her defeat, Davis sued the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, American Broadcasting Company, and the Disney Company, which at the time owned the Star-Telegram and ABC. The Texas Tribune stated that she alleged "that biased coverage led to her defeat and caused injury to her physical and mental health". Her claims were rejected by the Texas courts, based upon the Star-Telegram's First Amendment free speech grounds.
  • 1994
    Age 30
    In 1994, she joined the Fort Worth office of Haynes & Boone and practiced litigation there for about two years.
    More Details Hide Details In 1999, her husband, Jeff Davis started Safeco Title Co. of Fort Worth, Texas and she became part owner. The title company was sold to First American Title as part of their divorce decree. She continued to work at the Fort Worth branch of First American Title until 2009. Davis joined Cantey Hanger in an Of Counsel role in March 2010.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1993
    Age 29
    After graduating from law school, Davis was law clerk to U.S. District Judge Jerry Buchmeyer of the Northern District of Texas in Dallas from 1993 to 1994.
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    In May 1993, she earned her law degree cum laude, and she was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in November 1993.
    More Details Hide Details In November 2003, Jeff and Wendy separated.
  • 1990
    Age 26
    In May 1990, Davis graduated from TCU with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.
    More Details Hide Details That fall, she moved with her daughters to Lexington, Massachusetts, to attend Harvard Law School. This living situation proved untenable, and after four months her daughters returned to Texas to live with Jeff. Wendy's mother helped to care for them, and Wendy flew back regularly to visit her family for the remainder of her time at Harvard. While at Harvard, she volunteered at a legal clinic for the poor, where she helped AIDS patients write living wills and surviving partners with their legal rights.
  • 1986
    Age 22
    After Tarrant College, she enrolled at Texas Christian University (TCU) in 1986 on an academic scholarship and a Pell Grant. Wendy and Jeff married on May 30, 1987 after dating for "two or three years," and they settled in a historic home in the Mistletoe Heights neighborhood of Fort Worth.
    More Details Hide Details After the marriage, Jeff began to make significant financial contributions to Wendy's education. He would ultimately adopt her daughter, Amber. A second daughter, Dru, was born in September 1988. Davis underwent abortions for two later pregnancies, one due to an ectopic tubal pregnancy (whom she named "Lucas") and another due to the fetus suffering from Dandy-Walker syndrome (whom she named "Tate Elise").
  • 1984
    Age 20
    She also worked as a receptionist at a doctor's office, where a nurse gave her a brochure for Tarrant County College. She enrolled in their two-year paralegal program, attending from 1984 to 1986.
    More Details Hide Details She began dating Jeff Davis during this time.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1983
    Age 19
    While waiting tables at Stage West in 1983, she was introduced by her father to lawyer and former city councilman Jeffry R. Davis, who would become her second husband.
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    Wendy filed for divorce from Underwood in December 1983, and it became official on May 22, 1984, when she was 21.
    More Details Hide Details She was given custody of Amber, with Underwood paying child support. Davis attended University of Texas at Arlington for one semester, but had to stop attending for financial reasons. Meanwhile, her father had opened the European Sandwich Shop and Stage Door Deli in downtown Fort Worth, with his Stage West Theatre next door.
  • 1982
    Age 18
    She married Underwood on January 24, 1982, and gave birth to her first daughter, Amber, later that year.
    More Details Hide Details When Wendy was 19, she and Underwood separated, and she continued to live in their mobile home with Amber. After several months, she moved in with her mother, and then eventually began living in her own apartment.
  • 1981
    Age 17
    In 1981, she graduated from Richland High School as a member of the National Honor Society.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1973
    Age 9
    Wendy Davis was born Wendy Jean Russell in West Warwick, Rhode Island, the daughter of Virginia "Ginger" (née Stovall) and Jerry Russell. Her family moved to Fort Worth, Texas in 1973, when she was 11 years old.
    More Details Hide Details At the time, Jerry worked at National Cash Register. When Wendy was 13, her parents divorced. Her father quit his job to pursue work in community theater, leading his child support payments to dry up. Her mother, who had a ninth grade education, supported her four children by working menial jobs, including one at a Braum's ice cream shop. At 14 years of age, Wendy was selling newspaper subscriptions for The Fort Worth Star-Telegram and working at an Orange Julius stand. When she was 17 and still in high school, she moved in with her boyfriend, construction worker Frank Underwood.
  • 1963
    Born
    Born on May 16, 1963.
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