The main thing I learned in this story about Wendy Davis’ national connections is that at least one person in the state gets what she will really need to win.
“I’m going back home to Texas and walking door to door,” said Brian Stansbury, a lawyer from Texas who has lived in Washington for more than a decade. “I will wear out a couple of shoes in Texas.”
Stansbury and other Democrats helped Bill White against Rick Perry in the 2010 race for governor. He says Davis has a better shot.
“Wendy will have a lot more money from D.C. and nationwide than Bill White,” he said.
Davis has a fundraising goal of $40 million. She said most of that total should come from inside Texas.
Stansbury is part of a statewide network called New Leaders Texas. Many of its members dream of returning to a blue Texas, perhaps with Davis as governor.
U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, has known Davis since her days on the Fort Worth City Council.
In 2012, when his election to Congress was sealed with a Democratic runoff victory against former state Rep. Domingo Garcia, Veasey ran an aggressive general election campaign against a long-shot GOP candidate in order to help turn out voters to boost Davis’ Senate re-election bid.
He says Texas Democrats, inside and outside the state, must work as a team.
“I’m going to do everything I can to help Wendy become the next governor of Texas,” Veasey said.
Rep. Veasey gets it. The thing about an off-year race is that turnout levels are much more variable. Just compare the Republican vote totals in 2006 and 2010 to see what I mean. Democrats have a lot of room to bring up their base level of turnout for the off-year races, and it starts by going where the Democrats are and making sure they vote this year as if it were a Presidential year. The more elected officials like Rep. Veasey that serve in deep blue districts but campaign as if their own elections depended on it, the better.
I included the fundraising bit as a point of reference, if nothing else. Forty million is what the pundits keep saying Davis needs to raise, so it must be true. I think that total is overkill given her already-high name ID, but it never hurts to be ambitious. That said, if there’s $40 million to be raised, I’d rather Wendy got $25 million of it, with $15 million going to Sen. Leticia Van de Putte in the Lite Gov slot. I personally think there’s more bang to be had with that distribution of the bucks. Either way, we need everyone on board to get out the vote. This has to be an off-year in name only. We need everyone in the game.