In a teleconference on equal pay, Wendy Davis was about the race for her current seat in the Texas Senate, the Fort Worth Business Press reported. The question was about Libby Willis, the Senate candidate who won the Democratic primary contest on March 4th. Davis' support in this race is key. Senate District 10 is a swing district in Fort Worth, and Democrats must retain the seat if they hope to hold on to any power in the Texas Senate.
“Yes, she will receive my endorsement in the race,” Davis said, “I think she brings to the voters of Senate District 10 someone who will continue representing the interests of all families.”
More on this important race below the jump.The race for Senate District 10 will not be easy, despite the seat's history of being held by a Democrat. In 2012, Davis managed to hold on to the seat, beating challenger Mark Shelton by less than three percent in the general election. Shelton is one of two Republican candidates battling it out in a runoff following the primary.
In what will be one of the most expensive and most closely-watched races for the state legislature, Willis will face either Mark Shelton or Tarrant County Tea Party favorite, Konni Burton. Republican women with concerns about women's reproductive rights and education policy have been key factors in Davis' previous victories in SD 10, and these are the voters Willis will need to swing if she will have a chance at keeping this strategic seat.
This seat is especially important due to the two-thirds tradition in the Senate, which managed to remain a part of the rules during the 83rd legislative session under Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst and President Pro Tem Leticia Van de Putte. This rule requires at least 21 votes to bring a bill to the floor of the Senate for debate and has kept many extremely conservative measures from passing the legislature. In the 83rd legislative session, twelve seats were held by democrats, including Davis representing Senate District 10.
The Democratic senators' ability to maintain any semblance of power in the upcoming 84th legislative session hangs on their ability to maintain these twelve seats. Davis' endorsement of Willis, who has pledged to follow in Davis' footsteps and file equal pay legislation in 2015 should she win the general election, will be key in establishing her credibility with the swing voters who have supported Davis in the past.