Former Texas state Rep. Wendy Davis, a Democrat, is officially challenging Republican Rep. Chip Roy for his Texas House seat.
Davis announced her bid for Congress on Monday after weeks of rumors.
Davis is a champion of abortion rights, famously filibustering against a controversial anti-abortion bill for 11 hours in the Texas Capitol when she was a state senator in June 2013.
The day of the filibuster, Texas Republicans attempted to use a special session to pass HB 2, which aimed to mandate that abortions can take place only in ambulatory surgical centers rather than regular clinics. Davis, wearing pink sneakers and a back brace, blocked the legislation that day by speaking without any breaks until the midnight deadline.
The bill was delayed, but it passed in a later session. Nearly two dozen abortion clinics closed as a result, local news station KGW 8 reported at the time.
Davis’ historic filibuster was vindicated in 2016 when the Supreme Court struck down the state legislation, ruling that it was unconstitutional.
Davis was a state senator until 2015. In 2016, she founded Deeds Not Words, a nonprofit organization aimed at giving people resources to engage in political activism that focuses on gender equality and discrimination.
The Fort Worth Democrat was expected to challenge Texas’ senior senator, Republican John Cornyn, for his seat, though in April she encouraged Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro to join the Senate race.
Roy is a freshman congressman who is up for reelection in 2020. He recently voted against a $19 billion disaster aid bill that would’ve given Texas access to more than $4 billion of federal money that could help communities still struggling from the aftermath of devastating flooding from Hurricane Harvey in 2017.
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