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DALLAS - Hours into her first full-day campaigning for governor, Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) gave her first one-on-one interview to News 8's Inside Texas Politics discussing, among other things, her perception of the uphill political fight she faces.

'A lot of folks consider us the underdog,' Davis said. 'I've never minded being in the underdog position. I'm a fighter.'

But one issue Davis fought hard on during summer, she now sidesteps.

She didn't use the word 'abortion' during her campaign announcement Thursday in Haltom City, nor would she say it during the Friday interview in an apparent move to try to move away from her famous filibuster.

Davis is clearly intent on establishing her positions on other issues. But one of her biggest revelations came during a question about fundraising.

The Republican front-runner for governor, Attorney General Greg Abbott, has $21 million on hand.

Davis, just now beginning her fundraising, has a little more than $1 million in the bank now. But she told News 8 that she expects to raise a $40 million in the next 13 months to effectively compete against Republicans.

'I have every intention of reaching that goal and absolutely believe I can, or I wouldn't have entered this race,' Davis told News 8.

Already, as she enters her first statewide race, Davis sounds as coached as every other politician.

She didn't mention Abbott and rarely revealed specifics answers to questions -- even when pressed about whether she can win without attracting educated women from the GOP.

'I'm not at all concerned that women in the state of Texas won't find a way to connect to the values and the messages of my campaign for governor,' she said.

Still, Sen. Davis' campaign is unlike anything Democrats have seen in years. It has charisma, confidence, and a strong candidate.

But she still faces an uphill battle to attract conservative women who are willing to set aside Davis' pro-choice views and see her as governor.

Davis is making an appearance in Ellis County on Saturday.

Some expect her to concentrate on fundraising in the coming weeks before campaigning full-time after the primary next spring.

Watch the entire interview with Sen. Wendy Davis on Inside Texas Politics Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. on Channel 8.

E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com

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