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Stekler: Stout Democratic heart required to break GOP grip on Texas

By Paul Stekler - Local Contributor

In the aftermath of State Sen. Wendy Davis’ entrance onto the national stage, a chorus of beleaguered Texas Democrats, seeing the light at the end of a two-decade-long tunnel, are asking her to run for governor in 2014. With young Obama campaign veterans, fresh from their national ground game victory, moving into the state under the banner of Battleground Texas, there’s renewed interest in the question of when Texas might turn blue. Some informed observers would say that we already have two parties, it’s just that they face off in Republican primaries, pitting conservatives against even more ideologically conservative Republicans.

Could a Davis gubernatorial run change that? In a virtual instant, she achieved something that no Democrat running statewide in the past 17 years had: getting known. Compare this to the Democratic candidates for governor in the last pwo decades. They ran, and they lost in landslides. Worse, can anyone remember what Bill White, Chris Bell, Tony Sanchez or Gary Mauro stood for? Or that they even ran at all?

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Stekler, an award winning documentary filmmaker, is a professor of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

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