Texas State State Senator Wendy Davis made famous by her 13 hour one woman show filibuster to protect women’s rights in Texas is getting the Vogue Treatment.
The magazine’s upcoming September issue, known for being chock-full of fall fashion, features a glowing profile and a glamorous picture of Davis, a Democratic lawmaker from Fort Worth, Texas, who may be mounting a bid for governor. The piece offers a revealing look at Davis’s personal journey: how a struggling single mother went on to graduate from Harvard Law School and become a leading figure in the state’s Democratic politics, and recently garnering national attention.
“I decided I knew everything in the world, and I moved in with my boyfriend,” she told the magazine of her teenage years. “It was all about escape and rebellion.”
By 19, she had been married and divorced, and was raising a child alone, even spending some time living in a trailer park.
“Looking back, I don’t know if I could do it again,” said Davis, who became the first in her family to graduate college while raising her young daughter. “But somehow you just have the energy to do what you have to do.”
Davis ultimately found her political path — but she hasn’t always been a political junkie, Davis disclosed in the interview.
“I remember we’d go into restaurants and everyone wanted to talk politics, and I thought, ‘God, this is soooo boring,’” she said of nights out in her 20s with her second husband, a lawyer who served on the Fort Worth City Council.
But the political bug ultimately kicked in and after graduating from Harvard Law School and spending time as a lawyer, she went on to serve on the Fort Worth City Council — for which she focused on issues including economic development — before winning election to the state Senate, the profile said.
This summer, she led a 13-hour filibuster (wearing pink Mizuno sneakers and a blue Escada coat, Vogue noted) that temporarily derailed a restrictive abortion measure, drawing national attention from major political players — including President Barack Obama, who tweeted support for her. While the bill ultimately passed, Davis’s newfound fame hasn’t diminished as she continues to weigh a gubernatorial bid.
“You won’t change things unless you are prepared to fight, even if you don’t win,” she told Vogue, adding, “But I do hate losing.”
The magazine notes that Davis, who has two daughters, now lives in a “Spanish-style townhouse” and is dating the former mayor of Austin, who launched the “Keep Austin Weird” initiative — a ubiquitous slogan today in the Texas capital. She raised nearly $1 million in the wake of her filibuster and made the rounds on political television, sparking national chatter about her future plans.
“Even if she wasn’t beautiful, even if she didn’t wear cute pink shoes, even if she didn’t have a perfect-seeming life, it would still be a very compelling story,” said Heidi Mitchell, a writer who penned the Davis profile. “None of those things hurt,” she added.
The story dishes about Davis’s unruly curly hair and impressive closet as it also outlines the challenging political landscape Democrats face in Texas and details her rise to prominence in the state’s political apparatus.
“I certainly think it demonstrates through that profile that Wendy is somebody who is very much down-to-earth, very much focused on trying to help constituents,” Matt Angle, a Davis adviser who also heads the Democratic group the Lone Star Project, told POLITICO. He added, “It certainly helps expand her visibility, and in Texas — it’s a giant state — just becoming known outside her own district is difficult … it makes some sense for somebody, given the opportunity to spread their message more broadly, that they would do it.”
The magazine hits newsstands Aug. 20.