News for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Number Of Democrats In The Texas Senate May Be Dwindling

Will Democrats be able to rally to fill Wendy Davis' now-vacant Senate seat?
Ryan Poppe
TPR News
Will Democrats be able to rally to fill Wendy Davis' now-vacant Senate seat?

A leading Democratic candidate for Wendy Davis’ Senate seat has indicated he will not be running in 2014, leaving the party with a smaller margin of error in the Texas Senate.

Some in the Texas Democratic Party believed Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns would be the person to take over in Davis’ district because he has bipartisan support, but this week Burns announced he would not be running in 2014.

Cal Jillson, a professor of political science at South Methodist University, said that if Democrats lose that seat they will become vulnerable to not being able to block Republican bills in the Senate.

"As long as the Democrats have at least one-third of the senators they can block much of the action in the Texas Senate," Jillson said. "If Wendy Davis’ seat falls to the Republicans, Democrats would barely be in a position to stop things."

Jillson said the Burns announcement greatly increases the odds that Davis' Senate seat will go from a Democrat to a Republican, but Chairman of the Texas Democratic Party Gilberto Hinojosa said there are other options.

"So I don’t believe our chances are any less than when Wendy ran," Hinojosa said. "I think our chances are as good or better."

Hinojosa bases his assessment on a prediction that the energy from the Davis gubernatorial campaign will spill over onto other candidates, and that in 2014 Texas will have more outside support groups like Battleground Texas helping promote those running on the Democratic ticket.

Copyright 2020 Texas Public Radio. To see more, visit .

Ryan started his radio career in 2002 working for Austin’s News Radio KLBJ-AM as a show producer for the station's organic gardening shows. This slowly evolved into a role as the morning show producer and later as the group’s executive producer.