Burnt Orange Report unanimously and enthusiastically endorses Wendy Davis in the Democratic Primary for Governor, and urges our readership to not only vote for her but work hard to elect her in November 2014.
While usually we wait to endorse in primaries — let alone general elections — until close to the beginning of early voting, we are not waiting to endorse Davis, so that we can urge our readers to support her and openly advocate for her election.
Wendy Davis is the leader our state needs at a critical moment: when the promise of Texas looks as though it may become elusive for too many, and the costs of opportunity too high except for the lucky few.
While our economy is strong, those benefits are not felt by all working people in Texas. Too many Texans — 28.8%, the highest in the nation — lack health insurance, and access to affordable, quality healthcare. Our public schools lag most states in per-pupil spending, our graduation rates are low, our rates of air and water pollution are high.
We know that Texas can and must do better for all Texans, and Wendy Davis offers voters the best promise of that future.
Read more below the jump.Davis is a leader in the truest sense of the term, and has a tremendous record of bringing people together to solve problems on the Fort Worth City Council and in our State Senate.
Education is the most pressing issue in Texas. Davis was the only Senator — Democrat or Republican — to stand up against a budget that robbed our public school children of 5.4 billion dollars using all feasible means available to her, two sessions in a row.
In 2011, she filibustered the state budget in the Senate, forcing a special session and sending a message that she would not stand down in the face of the Republican legislature's refusal to fund enrollment growth for our public schools. In 2013, she voted against the budget on the floor of the Senate, again standing firm against any “new normal” that initially failed to address the gaping hole in education funding. Her stand — along with freshman Senator Sylvia Garcia — helped spark a Democratic insurgence against a budget that failed to restore sufficient funding for public education. Wendy's stand ultimately helped restored $3.4 billion of the previous cuts.
Unfortunately, partially restoring cuts to education is the best Texas can do with a Republican in the Governor's mansion who will veto any measure to prepare all Texas children for the future.
There is an authenticity in Davis and a refusal to play the “go along, get along” rules that too often dominate our upper legislative chamber — a culture that should enervate Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike. Should she be elected, she will be an effective bulwark against one-party rule in Texas, as the Senate and House are unlikely to flip this election. She will also be able to make merit-based appointments to the myriad positions of importance in our government that are currently doled out like party favors to Perry's cronies and donors, regardless of the consequences.
Importantly, her principled stands have not interfered with her passage of critical legislation. in 2011 she passed a bill requiring testing of backlogged rape kits, and in 2013 she got that bill funded. In 2013 she also passed a bill for equal pay for women 16-15 in the Republican-controlled Senate, which was later vetoed by Rick Perry.
This will be a tough race, but we know Davis is a gritty, tough campaigner — she lost her first election by 90 votes, and has displayed a determination and work ethic in her campaigns for city council and state senate that demonstrate she's up to the challenge. Most of us at Burnt Orange Report have spent our time in the campaign trenches, and we know what lies ahead — but we know that Davis, more than anyone else in Texas at this time, has what it takes to do the improbable and recapture the Governor's mansion for the people of Texas.
Davis is a special candidate, and has already excited Texans new to the electoral process with her principled stand for her values and impassioned plea on behalf of those who would be harmed by legislation — something all too rare in politics.
We believe our schools need more funding to better prepare our children for a competitive workforce. We believe that all Texans deserve access to quality, affordable healthcare. We believe that women deserve equal pay for an equal day's work, and we believe that those women have the same bodily autonomy over their health care decisions.
And we believe that Wendy Davis is the person best suited to make the promise of Texas available to all Texans.
We urge all Texans to support Wendy Davis in her campaign for Governor. The State of Texas can and must do better for its people, and for that to be realized, we need a governor committed to giving all Texans a chance at success. In this election, that person is Wendy Davis.
Endorsements are made based on a weighted consensus of the staff, which guides the type and tone of endorsement. Members of the Burnt Orange Report staff employed by campaigns abstain from voting on those races.