State Sen. Wendy Davis, the Democrats' best hope to run for Texas governor, said Wednesday she is postponing the announcement of her decision so she can help care for her sick father.
“I had hoped to make public my decision about that next week, but with everything that’s going on with my dad, I won’t be doing that,” Davis said. “It’s likely it will be late September before I do.”
Davis’ father, Jerry Russell, has been in critical condition at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth following complications from abdominal surgery. In a Facebook post, Davis said Russell, who has been battling pneumonia, was “continuing to show small but positive steps toward improvement” but was “not out of the woods” yet.
Russell, an actor and director, is well known in North Texas theater circles. He is the founder of Stage West, a popular nonprofit theater company that offers dinner service. He was in the third week of production of his latest play, Thank You Jeeves, when he fell ill, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Davis became an instant celebrity — and a social media phenomenon — after waging a filibuster over a restrictive abortion bill in late June. She pulled in nearly $1 million in campaign contributions at the end of the first special session, thanks in large part to the filibuster, and saw her followers on Twitter rise from 1,200 beforehand to more than 140,000 today.
Democrats, who haven’t won a statewide election in Texas since 1994, have been pushing Davis to run for governor ever since. Davis has said she will either run for re-election to her state Senate seat or for governor in 2014.