WASHINGTON, D.C., April 30, 2014, ( – The head of the Democratic Party's electoral efforts to win governor's races across the nation has strongly hinted that the party establishment believes Wendy Davis will lose her bid to become governor of Texas this year.

Speaking to centrist think tank Third Way on Tuesday, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, the chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, outlined the top priority gubernatorial races this year, followed by critical races.


Texas was on neither list. Instead, he cited Maine, Pennsylvania, and Florida as the three most important races for Democrats. Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Georgia, Kansas, and Arizona were critical.

Democratic state senator Wendy Davis is seeking to defeat state attorney general Greg Abbott in his bid to succeed Governor Rick Perry, who is retiring this year.

Shumlin, who last year signed a bill legalizing physician-assisted suicide in Vermont, is no pro-life champion, but he has sparked outrage from Davis’s campaign team for not being optimistic about Davis’s chances of victory.

“We’re hopeful in Texas, but we’ll be candid about the fact that we all understand Democrats haven’t won Texas in a long time,” Shumlin said.

Wendy Davis catapulted to national fame when she successfully filibustered a Texas bill that banned abortions after 20 weeks. A different incarnation of the same bill was passed two weeks later, after Governor Perry called a special session of the legislature.


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While Davis’ stand made her a darling of the Democratic Party, her odds at winning the governor’s seat are bleak, with polls showing her GOP opponent handily leading the race, even amongst women voters.

Many observers believe that Davis' extreme standpoint concerning abortion is a key reason for her current losing status.

According to Texas Right to Life, Davis has been silent about her stance on abortion during her campaign in order to avoid “mentioning her support for abortion on the most public legs of her campaign trail” while at the same time being “happy to do so when the cameras weren't rolling.”

Davis’s campaign manager, Karin Johanson, rejected the analysis, saying, “The uninformed opinions of a Washington, D.C., desk jockey who's never stepped foot in Texas couldn't be less relevant to what's actually happening on the ground.”

Republican Governors Association spokesman Jon Thompson told the liberal online news source Talking Points Memo, “It’s no surprise the Davis campaign got upset with…Shumlin – he clearly doesn’t believe she should be treated as a credible candidate.”

Texas has not elected a Democratic governor since 1994. The winning candidate that year was Ann Richards, the mother of Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards.