AUSTIN (KXAN) - Fresh off her successful fight to kill anti-abortion legislation and now in the cross-hairs of Texas Republicans, state Sen. Wendy Davis said she has a burning desire for public service but is not ready to announce plans for her political future.
"What I want this story to be about is not what my future potentials, are but the future potential by the people, for the people," Davis told KXAN in a sit-down interview in her Senate office Thursday.
Davis, a Fort Worth Democrat, has been on numerous national news shows since her 11-hour speech on the Senate floor Tuesday night that set the stage for derailing a Republican-backed bill to restrict abortions in Texas. The speech, sometimes emotional and sometimes a dry recitation of facts, ended up serving as a prelude to a boisterous and sustained demonstration in the gallery that halted the official business of the Senate and prevented a vote.
The defeat drove Gov. Rick Perry to denounce not only the loud demonstrators, but also Davis, a one-time teenage mom who still managed to graduate with honors from Harvard Law School. Without mentioning her name, Perry used Davis' life to suggest that she should stand in opposition to abortion.
"Who are we to say that children born in the worst of circumstances can't lead successful lives?" Perry said in a speech to nearly 1,000 delegates at the National Right to Life Conference near Dallas. "Even the woman who filibustered the Senate the other day was born into difficult circumstances."
The suggestion, and the governor's phrasing, was not appreciated.
"I would just say it really demeans the office that he holds to make a personal statement like that," she said.
Davis said that even though she became the face of the abortion fight, her outnumbered Democratic colleagues played an equally important role, especially when the speech was ordered stopped by the Republican majority because of complaint that she violated the rules governing filibuster.
Republicans also complained that Democrats whipped the gallery crowd into a frenzy, which also violate chamber rules.
But Davis said the abortion issue and other matters are worth bruising battles on the Texas Senate.
"I have a burning fight in my belly. It comes from the struggles I had as a very young single mom," she said. "It even comes from my own upbringing with my own single mother who raised four siblings at a Braum's ice cream and dairy store. We never had very much."
But would such "burning fight" be waged in a run for governor or other statewide office?
"I am focused completely right now on my Senate office," Davis said. "Of course, we have a lot of work to do in the next few weeks in the second special session. There will be more time to give more thought to that."
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