The first-term Texas governor has a new favorite: Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis.
Davis, who lost the gubernatorial race to Lt.
Dan Patrick in 2016, has been endorsed by a wide range of progressive groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, the Campaign Legal Center, and Democracy for America.
She is also backed by former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who is seeking to replace Patrick as the next lieutenant governor.
But there are still some major hurdles ahead for Davis, who has to convince voters she can keep up her campaign against Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton, whose election was widely seen as a sign that Democrats will not be able to retake the governorship.
She faces a November 2018 election in a state that President Donald Trump won by more than 20 points.
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On Monday, Davis took a dig at Paxton by comparing him to a dog, tweeting, “I’m not sure Paxton can be called a dog but the dogs can.
It’s the dog’s fault that we have to fight dog, not his.”
Davis also praised Paxton for his support of gay marriage and abortion rights.
She also praised the state’s efforts to reduce incarceration rates and its commitment to protecting the environment.
“This is a state where you have people in jail who haven’t committed any crime and yet you are working to keep them out of jail,” she said.
“We are doing a lot to end that.
I think the people of Texas will be able and I hope that the governor will be a champion for us.”
In addition to her endorsement of Davis, several progressive groups and prominent activists have joined forces to promote her.
She has also had support from the progressive advocacy group Democracy for Texas, which has endorsed her and has raised $4 million for her campaign.
Davis said she hopes to raise another $10 million over the next two years to get her campaign off the ground.
In contrast to Paxton’s support of LGBT rights, Davis has opposed a state law requiring transgender people to use bathrooms that match their gender identity.
She said that the law is unnecessary and a “step in the wrong direction.”
The state has the nation’s second-highest rate of prison overcrowding.
Davis has also supported the bill’s repeal.
“The reality is that the American people are tired of this state of affairs and we are tired as a nation of having people in prison for things that were not their fault,” Davis said during her campaign announcement.
“This is just one more reason why the American voter is ready to reject this cruel and cruel law and replace it with a new law that will protect our most vulnerable citizens.”
Davis said she wants to focus on education and criminal justice reform and would seek to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, expand community policing and support community health centers.
She plans to use her platform to raise money to support more than 30 community policing projects and to help create jobs in the criminal justice system.
“I’m going to focus my campaign on education, criminal justice, and public safety,” she added.
“My focus is going to be on the things that I think are going to get us the most bang for our buck.”
Davis’ endorsement of her opponent is the latest in a series of endorsements from progressive groups backing her campaign, including former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Democratic New Mexico Gov.
Richardson, a longtime supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, also endorsed her in an email to supporters Monday.
“Governor Davis has proven herself to be a strong progressive who understands the needs of the Texas economy and the needs and wants of Texans,” Richardson wrote.
“She will fight to ensure all Texans have a chance to make their own choices in their communities, and that our state’s economy and prosperity thrive.”