The DMN considers the possibilities.
Several Democratic contenders have emerged. Topping the list is Fort Worth City Council member Joel Burns, who acknowledged last week that he’s been approached by operatives about a possible campaign to replace Davis.
“It’s something that I’ve thought about,” Burns said. “But until she decides what she wants to do, I can’t give it more than that.”
Burns acknowledged that Davis is a special candidate.
She beat Republican incumbent Kim Brimer for the seat in 2008. Four years later, she won a close race over former Rep. Mark Shelton, R-Fort Worth.
But Burns thinks that if he gets into the race, he can meld a winning coalition of minorities, women and moderates.
“Anyone who has shown a history of forging coalitions and can talk about the main street issues facing Texans has a leg up,” he said.
State Rep. Chris Turner, D-Arlington, has been mentioned frequently as a possible contender, even though he doesn’t live in the Senate district. He would have to move to mount a campaign.
But Turner, a veteran of former U.S. Rep. Martin Frost’s political tree, says he’s not interested in replacing Davis.
“I’m running for re-election to the House,” Turner said. “I decided that a long time ago, and that hasn’t changed.”
Turner’s wife, Democratic strategist Lisa Turner, has also been mentioned as a possible successor, but she said she’s not interested in running.
But there are other interesting options for Democrats.
Rep. Nicole Collier, D-Fort Worth, is in her first term in the House and is considered one of the local party’s rising stars. She could appeal to some of the same constituencies that powered Davis to victory.
Collier could not be reached for comment.
Former Fort Worth City Council member Kathleen Hicks could also mount a campaign.
In 2012, she lost the Democratic primary for the newly created 33rd Congressional District to Marc Veasey. And this spring, she failed in a council comeback bid. But Hicks has a recognizable name and connections in the district.
Some Democrats in Davis’ inner circle, however, are upset that Hicks supported former state Rep. Domingo Garcia of Dallas over Veasey in the 33rd District.
I’m on record saying that I’d like to see Joel Burns run, so I’m glad to see that people have talked to him about it. Rep. Collier would be a good option as well. Like Sen. Davis, she’s an Annie’s List candidate. I like Rep. Turner and he had a fine session this year, but I think he might be best served staying in the House and building up seniority. As long as someone good runs and there isn’t a nasty primary, I’ll be happy. Holding this seat will be tough, but it was always going to be a challenge. I’ve been clear about this being the downside risk of Sen. Davis running for Governor, and it’s equally clear by now that everyone is willing to take that risk. Well, everyone except possibly Sen. Davis herself – we don’t know that yet, though we do hear things. I do agree with PDiddie that the decision is bigger than just being about Sen. Wendy Davis. The universe is telling her to run for Governor. I don’t think she’ll be able to resist, and I’m not sure there’s a good case that she should try.