Gov. Rick Perry, the longest serving Texas Governor in history, just announced that he would not be seeking reelection in 2014.
This shift in political tectonic plates will result in Greg Abbott being elected Governor of Texas on November 4, 2014.
These seismic shifts follow hard on the heels of a political astrological event: Supernova Wendy Davis. A supernova is a stellar explosion the briefly outshines an entire galaxy before fading from view over weeks or months. However, make no mistake: The Davis filibuster and its aftermath that occurred in the Texas Senate the last week of June was significant and lasting. As I wrote last year, “Republicans underestimate Sen. Davis at their peril.”
She is a gifted political leader and clearly will be a statewide candidate for the Democrats this decade. But it will not be in 2014. She is too smart for that, and knows the Democrats will still not be competitive in Texas on statewide basis in 2014. Once the burst of radiation fades from her gripping performance last month, Sen. Davis will likely turn her attention to winning a third straight election to the Texas Senate from Fort Worth.
Attorney General Abbott will announce his candidacy for Governor this weekend, and he should clear the field of any significant Republican opponents and likely any significant Democratic ones as well.
General Abbott has an equally compelling personal narrative as Sen. Davis. Rendered a paraplegic by a falling tree while jogging in 1984, steel rods were permanently inserted into his back to stabilize his spine. Cecilia Abbott, a Latina and his wife of 31 years, is the granddaughter of immigrants from Mexico. They have a beautiful adopted daughter, Audrey. He has had a stellar legal career as a lawyer in private practice in Houston, a district court judge, a supreme court justice and now Texas Attorney General. Greg Abbott has literally lifted himself up from tragedy and is now poised to roll into the Governor’s office.
He will do so as the most prolific fundraiser in Texas today. He reported cash on hand of $18 million as of December 31, 2012, and has indicated that he set a Texas record for the thirteen day fundraising window from June 17 to June 30.
Davis and Abbott are both rocketing into orbit. One is integral to the renaissance of the Texas Democratic party, but the other is the next Governor of Texas.