(WASHINGTON) — “The Wendy” and “The Filibustini” were just two of the specialty drinks being served at a Washington, D.C., fundraiser for Wendy Davis, the Texas state senator riding her wave of fame on the heels of her 11-hour filibuster to block an anti-abortion bill in Texas.
The sold-out fundraiser packed more than 300 people into Local 16, a D.C. lounge and bar. Attendees had paid anywhere from $25 to $250 to see Davis.
Her events in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday and Thursday mark an opportunity for the state senator to meet with national politicians, raise funds for her state senate campaign, and direct heavy fire at Texas Republican politicians that she may challenge in a potential bid for governor.
“Republican state leaders have been in power so long and become so destructively partisan that their priorities no longer have anything to do with what is best for Texas families,” Davis said to a crowd made up of largely women. “They’ve become entirely disconnected.”
Rep. Marc Veasey, D-T.X., spoke at the event about Davis’ journey from being a single teenage mother to graduating from Harvard Law. Also in attendance at the event were Rep. Pete Gallego (D, T.X.), Beto O’Rourke (D, T.X.), Lone Star PAC founder Matt Angle and Fort Worth City Council member Joel Burns.
Exact figures raised on her D.C. trip have not been disclosed, but her last campaign finance report indicated she raised $933,000 in late June. Her high-profile D.C. fundraisers will undoubtedly increase those numbers.
In her swing through Washington, Davis has met with several high-profile Democrats who have encouraged her to run, even after the abortion bill she filibustered subsequently passed the legislature in a special session created by Gov. Rick Perry.
Another $500-per-ticket morning fundraiser included Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) along with Texas Democratic Reps. Pete Gallego, Marc Veasey and Sheila Jackson Lee, according to Politico.
Sen. Kristin Gillbrand, D-N.Y., who also attended the fundraiser, said Davis hasn’t indicated whether she will launch a bid for higher office, but according to Politico, Gillibrand said, “I told her she should run for governor.”
“We share a tremendous belief in Texas and we embrace the wonderful opportunities and the responsibilities that come with being a Texan and being an American,” Davis said. “That’s why it’s so important that we look for new leaders in Texas.”
Should she launch a campaign, Davis would be an underdog in a heavily Republican state that hasn’t seen a Democratic governor in 18 years. She would likely face Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who has amassed a campaign war chest of almost $25.8 million.
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