Jerry Russell, the father of State Sen. Wendy Davis, died Thursday at 77. The news sparks more anticipation for those waiting to hear whether Davis will announce a run for governor in 2014.
Russell has been in critical condition at a Fort Worth hospital since August after complications developed from abdominal surgery. Davis was expected to make an announcement about whether she would run for governor in early September, but postponed the news to take care of her father.
Davis said last month she expected to make an announcement in late September, but has not elaborated on her plans since.
She announced on Facebook her father had died early Thursday. Davis said he was surrounded by his children and his wife Suzi.
“We, and the community, will forever be grateful for the significant impact he made on our lives. He and his warm, sparkling brown eyes will be deeply missed,” Davis wrote.
Democrats, who face serious challenges in the Republican-dominated state, have urged Davis to run for governor since her jump to stardom earlier in the summer.
Davis led a 13-hour filibuster in an attempt to derail proposed abortion legislation that opponents believed would seriously decrease access to abortion in Texas. Even though the legislation eventually passed, Davis gained thousands of supporters – and dollars – for her efforts.
Many Democrats, most recently Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, have encouraged Davis to run. Others are waiting to see what she will do before they come up with a game plan to fill the Democratic ticket. Republicans are also waiting to see what Davis will do.
Until she makes a move, they’ll keep on waiting.