Planned Parenthood head shrugs off DGA’s Wendy Davis snub

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, talks about Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis’s record and why it transcends her famous filibuster. (Jackie Kucinich/The Washington Post)

Cecile Richards, the Planned Parenthood head and daughter of former Texas governor Ann Richards (D), says she isn't overly concerned about the lack of national Democratic support for her mom's would-be successor Wendy Davis.

Democratic Governors Association Chairman Peter Shumlin earlier this week left Davis and Texas off a list of his committee's top targets, while saying he remains "hopeful" of turning the tide in the state. Liberals and abortions rights advocates who have made Davis a cause celebre after her filibuster against anti-abortion rights legislation were quick to decry the DGA over the snub.

Cecile Richards said the situation reminds her of her mother's 1990 campaign -- at least in one respect.

"I will also say that the DGA didn't ask me when my mother won the race for governor," Richards said. "She was 27 points down in August, and we never had a poll that showed us winning, and we won on Election Day."

Davis just happens to be running to become the first female governor and first Democratic governor of Texas since the elder Richards in the early 1990s. The younger Richards acknowledged the tough odds but said things are moving forward, with or without the the national Democratic Party.

"Yes, there are things about Texas that sort of require the sun and the stars and the moon and the sun to align," she said. "But I really think it could happen again.

"I actually believe a fuse has been lit down there, and folks aren't really waiting for the national parties to say, 'OK, we're in.' ... I don't think folks are going to wait for the DGA or the DNC or anyone else to give them the green light."

Davis is considered a long shot against state Attorney General Greg Abbott (R). The winner will succeed retiring longtime Gov. Rick Perry (R).

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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