Wendy Davis, Democrats' big hope in Texas

Davis won in both 2008 and 2012 despite the GOP leanings of the district. Her crossover appeal has given Democrats hope that Davis can reverse the long statewide losing streak for Democrats in Texas.

Texas Republicans scoff at the notion, but they’re prepared just in case: Besides the anticipated focus on her relatively liberal Senate record, Davis, who portrayed Brimer as an ethically challenged good old boy in 2008, can expect to be criticized on ethics-related issues herself. Among them is her firm’s contracts with public entities, including the North Texas Tollway Authority, and her partnership with Brian Newby, Gov. Rick Perry’s former chief of staff and now a registered lobbyist.

Davis is being pro-active. She’s promising to put her law practice on hold if she runs for governor, and if she wins she says she’ll give it up altogether. In the meantime, she said in the Tribune interview that she plans to ask her public sector clients to waive attorney-client privilege so she can publicly release a list of them. She has previously resisted calls to disclose her client list.

She said she’s never let her private legal work conflict with her job as a legislator, for which she is paid a part-time salary of $7,200 a year. But with the spotlight growing ever hotter, she’s itching to defuse the issue with more disclosure.