Almost a year ago, Senator Wendy Davis inspired women across Texas by standing on her feet for 11 hours to filibuster a law that placed unnecessary control over a woman’s body.

The pink running shoes in which she stood became a symbol for standing up for one’s beliefs, and her face became a recognizable image of hope for Texans who were tired of politics as usual.

Despite her efforts, the Texas Legislature eventually passed the law, but many still considered that night a victory for women. Finally, it seemed, politics was changing for the better and women would have a say in the laws that directly affect them.

Unfortunately, this celebration of women’s rights may have been premature. Since her famous filibuster, Davis’ appeal has been in decline.

During a debate held last Friday, Sept. 19, in the Rio Grande Valley, Davis went head-to-head with her gubernatorial opponent Attorney General Greg Abbott.

Her responses can best be described as rehearsed and vague; neither candidate’s responses offered new, insightful information about how they plan to lead state reform.

Both candidates did, however, agree that bipartisan support is needed to better serve Texas. This statement might have been more believable had they stopped the debate to simply hug it out.

When President Barack Obama first announced his candidacy in 2008, politics and pop culture became one and the same. Whether you supported him or not, you knew who he was and who you would be voting for. Obama had the unique ability of energizing first time voters — voter turnout was at an all time high as a result.

Is Wendy Davis our Texas Barack Obama? She almost could have been.

A poll conducted by the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune found that Abbott is almost 12 points ahead of Davis, a lead he has consistently held. The Davis campaign has failed to reach a broader base, largely thanks to an inability to prove that Davis is about more than just abortion rights. Inconsistencies in accounts of her personal story have also made her seem untrustworthy.

This November, I’ll still be voting for Davis in the hopes that she might put her pink running shoes back on and really stand up for Texans, but until she becomes more personable and inspiring, it’s unlikely that she’ll be able to even set foot in the governor’s mansion.

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