Name at birth: Wendy Russell
Democrat Wendy Davis is a Texas state senator who made national headlines in 2012 with a filibuster aimed at preventing the passage of a bill limiting abortions. Although she succeeded in preventing its passage during the legislative session, Governor Rick Perry called another session and the bill passed. In the meantime, Davis became a hero to liberal voices for standing up to the threat of numerous clinic closures across Texas. Davis also has a storybook background -- raised by a single mother, Davis was divorced and a mother by the time she was 19 years old. She went to community college, then graduated with honors from Texas Christian University in 1990. Remarried (1987) and with two children, Davis graduated from Harvard Law School in 1993. She was elected to the Fort Worth city council in 1999, then to the Texas state senate in 2008. The spotlight on her filibuster caused a buzz of speculation about her political future in Texas and nationally.
Wendy Davis divorced Jeff Davis in 2003.