Wendy Davis vaults into national political spotlight

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by TODD UNGER

Bio | Email | Follow: @toddWFAA8

WFAA

Posted on June 26, 2013 at 6:17 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 26 at 8:10 PM

FORT WORTH — With her Twitter followers at 80,000 and ticking up, State Sen. Wendy Davis is suddenly a big name in politics across the country.

On Wednesday, her office was even receiving phone calls and flower arrangements from as far away as Ireland and France.

Her former TCU English professor Bob Frye said he could tell in the late 1980s there might be a political future for Davis.

"In fact, in her essays — a couple of them — she opened one with a Benjamin Franklin quotation, and another one with a reference to the Kennedy assassination," Frye said.

Frye said he remembered Davis as a young mother who was passionate about attending law school. He wrote her a letter of recommendation to Harvard.

When she returned to Fort Worth, Davis practiced as an attorney and then jumped into the City Council.

She then ran for an area Senate seat in 2008, beating out a longtime Republican incumbent.

She also won reelection last year, despite a bruising campaign in which opponent Dr. Mark Shelton focused on her left-leaning voting record, and also filed an ethics complaint.

Current City Council member Joel Burns, who took Davis' seat, says he expects her political career to keep rising.

"She has such a motivational personal story," he told News 8.

But with redistricting still undecided, Davis could face an uncertain future as a local representative.

Some political observers say a statewide race — perhaps even a return to Fort Worth City Hall — might be her best opportunity down the road.

E-mail tunger@wfaa.com

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