SD-10: Two Democrats Announce to Replace Wendy Davis in Texas Senate

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Image Courtesy of Texas Tribune

With Sen. Wendy Davis (D) running for Texas Governor, Democrats will have to find a new candidate to run in her place for Senate District 10. Luckily, Democrats were ready to go when two candidates signed up on the first day of filing!

Libby Willis (D) was the first in line, ready to turn in her paperwork. Ms. Willis is a community activist and former President of the Fort Worth League of Neighbors and the daughter-in-law of former state legislator Doyle Willis. The Baylor graduate states on her Facebook Page “I want to go to Austin to work for better public education, better jobs and transparency in government.” This will be Ms. Willis' first run for public office.

Energy Executive Mike Martinez (D) also turned in his paperwork on the first day. Mr. Martinez is the founder of Edge Resources, a Fort Worth based oil and gas operator. Mr. Martinez previously ran for office in 1998 when he pursued a seat on the Tarrant County Commissioners Court. He suspended that campaign when it was revealed he had twice been arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence. It will be up to the voters to decide if fifteen years is enough time to decide if this counts as a youthful indiscretion. His business connections may provide Mr. Martinez with a fundraising advantage over other Democrats in campaigning for office.

Ms. Willis and Mr. Martinez are the only two Democrats to file to date, but two other Democrats are rumored to be considering running as well. You can find out who they are and read the candidate summaries written up by the Fort Worth Star Telegram after the jump.Libby Willis (D), is the only Democratic candidate with an active Facebook page or website. On her Facebook Page, Ms. Willis states:

“I have spent most my adult life working with others to make our community better. Most recently, I have served as President of the Fort Worth League of Neighborhoods where I worked with people of all different kinds of political stripes and cultural backgrounds on neighborhood issues like parks, zoning and pipeline safety. I want to take this neighborhood level practical approach to Austin to tackle the issues facing our community and Texas.”

The Fort Worth Star Telegram describes Ms. Willis as follows:

“The Democrat and former president of the Fort Worth League of Neighborhoods – who has been active in historic preservation, community revitalization and city issues for years – is weighing a possible bid. She is the daughter-in-law of the late Doyle Willis, who represented Fort Worth in the House and Senate for decades.”

Mike Martinez's (D) write up is as follows:

“The energy executive said he received calls from people who have encouraged him to run. … “I started thinking about it, looking at the numbers, and looking at my true and sincere desire to serve my community,” he said. “I know my past will come up. It's not about that. That is not who I am, that is not what I am about. I finally grew up and became the man I am today.””

Former Fort Worth Council Member Kathleen Hicks (D) is rumored to be looking at the race:

A former Fort Worth city councilwoman, Hicks served on the council from 2005 until 2012, and as a council aide for years before that. She resigned her city post last year to make a bid for a newly drawn 33rd congressional district that was ultimately claimed by Marc Veasey. The well-known Democrat and community activist was unsuccessful in a bid to reclaim her previous council seat. “A number of people from across the district continue to urge me to run for Senate District 10,” she said. “I have not ruled it out.”

And finally, former Texas Representative and Craddick-Democrat Glenn Lewis (D) may run as well:

The Fort Worth attorney and former five-term lawmaker said he is considering making a bid for the seat. Lewis, who was ousted from the House seat he represented by Veasey in 2004, drew criticism at the time for working with both parties. “Most of the comments I've gotten from some people are that someone with moderate credentials is the best option the Democrats have here,” he said. “I'm just trying to mull it all over because life is pretty good for Glenn Lewis right now … but in my whole life, I have never refused a call for service.”

Whoever wins the Democratic Primary will face one of at least five Republicans who are also running for this open seat in the Texas Senate. Mitt Romney won SD-10 with 53.31% making it the closest Texas Senate seat to being and even 50% – 50% split. Sen. Davis is the only Texas Senator sitting in a seat that was not won by the Presidential nominee of the same party as the incumbent Senator.

All the announced candidates for Texas Senate can be viewed in our Burnt Orange Report Texas Senate Candidate Tracker.

You can follow me on Twitter at @trowaman.


About Author

Joseph Vogas

Joseph was raised in Friendswood, Texas in North Galveston County. He went on to graduate from the University of North Texas with a degree in Political Science. After working for multiple campaigns, Joseph was able to work in the 83rd legislature in Austin in 2013. While retired from professional campaign work, Joseph enjoys sharing his knowledge of campaign data how to win elections in naturally unfriendly turf with others. Joseph is an avid archer and enjoys all things geek including Star Wars and DC Comics.

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