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Wendy Davis: From Single-Mom Waitress to Harvard to ... Governor?

By William Peacock, Esq. | Last updated on

In 1982, Wendy Davis was a 19-year-old, recently-divorced, single mother, living in a trailer park and working as a waitress. Remarkably, today, there are rumors that the Harvard Law-educated Texas State Senator may consider a run at the Governor’s seat or another high-profile position.

Let’s take a look at her run, from paralegal school to Ivy League law, the career that followed, and the future that awaits her.

First Generation College

It's not a stretch to say that the odds were against her back in 1982. With a daughter, and a fresh divorce, not many people would fight their way through community college, transfer to a four-year university, and excel, all while working. She did, finishing at the top her class at Texas Christian University, according to the Independent. She followed that up with three years at Harvard Law School.

According to her firm's bio, she served in a clerkship for U.S. District Judge Jerry L. Buchmeyer before joining Haynes & Boone's litigation department in 1994. Five years later, she became part-owner of Safeco Title Co., which was later acquired by Republic Title, where she served as CEO of the latter company's Fort Worth division.

Since leaving Republic Title in 2009, she has worked as of counsel for Cantey Hanger LLP and as a partner at Newby Davis PLLC. Her practice consists of federal and local governmental affairs (naturally), as well as real estate, litigation, and economic development.

Public Service

In addition to her legal career, she also has amassed quite the public service career. She served as a Fort Worth City Councilwoman from 1999 until 2008, when she resigned her spot to run for the Texas State Senate. Needless to say, the odds were against her as a Democrat in a heavily-Republican state. Nonetheless, she was elected, then re-elected despite facing an opponent backed by Republican Governor Rick Perry, reports the Independent.

Even with her accomplishments, it's quite possible none of us never would have known about Wendy Davis had it not been for the filibuster and concurrent social media buzz. Thanks to Livestream and Twitter, hundreds of thousands of people nationwide witnessed, and discussed, her 11-hour feat, a brave yet losing battle.

Though the abortion bill that she opposed was not passed that night, Gov. Perry called a special session in order to allow the Republican-controlled legislative bodies to push the bill through, reports CBS. This echoes her less-famous filibuster from a few years ago, where she fought to oppose education cuts, but merely succeeded in delaying the inevitable.

What's Next?

Some have whispered thoughts of a run for Texas Governor, as Gov. Perry has not yet announced whether he will run again (beating an incumbent is much more difficult). Either way, that would be a tough race, as Texas is a solidly Republican state. Another option might be a seat in Congress. Either way, with her newfound fame, its easy to see that she is headed for even bigger things than her already impressive resume contains.

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