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Wendy Davis looks to broaden appeal before expected governor bid

Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis offered a preview of what her run for governor might look like, and it wasn't about abortion.
Wendy Davis - Clare Kim - 09/30/2013
Texas State Sen. Wendy David speaks at the National Press Club on August 5, 2013 in Washington, D.C.

Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis offered a preview of what her run for governor might look like, and it wasn't about abortion.

While speaking at the Texas Tribune Festival in Austin on Sunday, Davis discussed economic issues and education while calling the abortion issue "divisive," according to an account by the Dallas Morning News.

Although her daylong stand for abortion rights launched her into the national spotlight, Davis seemed to pivot away from that topic in her speech.

“These divisive issues that keep getting thrown into the middle of a room where legislators go to their corners and come out with their boxing gloves on, these aren’t the things that Texans want to hear us talking about,” Davis said.

The Texas abortion measure that Davis filibustered, ultimately, was signed into law, but Planned Parenthood and other groups filed a lawsuit in federal court Friday to overturn some of the provisions.

"Those aren't the things Texans want us talking about," she said about the abortion issue, Politico reported. "What they care about is public education. Can their child go to college? Is there a path for their child's future? A path to having a good job, are they going to have adequate health care, these are things that really matter to people."

Supporters of conservative Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who already made his candidacy public, have attacked Davis as a staunch liberal who supports abortion.

Davis is expected announce her bid for the governor's seat on Oct. 3 after inviting supporters to join her for her "big announcement" at W.G. Thomas Coliseum in Haltom City, Texas, where she received her high school diploma.

If elected, Davis would be the first Democrat to win the governor's race since Ann Richards in 1990.

Davis said that in recent weeks, young women in particular have encouraged her to run. "I'm so struck by young women who come up to me, many with tears in their eyes, some of them who don't say a word but just hug me and the expression on their face says so much," she said, according to the Dallas Morning News. "What I have been struck by is that somehow that day tapped into a feeling for many young women that they weren't being heard."