The Texas legislator whose expected gubernatorial run has been bolstered by her outspoken opposition to abortion restrictions called Sunday for more state spending -- four days before her expected campaign announcement.
Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis said she wants more spending on education, roads and water to keep the Texas economy strong.
The Fort Worth lawmaker said she opposes raising sales or property tax rates. But she thinks the Legislature needs to review $35 billion in tax exemptions currently on the books. The state budget is roughly $100 billion.
Davis, talking after a political conference in Austin, did not discuss her nearly 13-hour filibuster against abortion restrictions, which gave her national political recognition and fundraising clout.
She instead focused on issues she said are important to the middle class and small businesses, such as education, health care and roads.
"We need to step back and be thoughtful and smart about how we make our revenue and spending decisions," Davis said. "If we fail to come together and do the right thing for public education and higher education, this wonderful story we tell about the health and vibrancy of the Texas economy is likely going to crumble."
Davis also declined to speak about her expected candidacy for governor in advance of an event scheduled Thursday at the Fort Worth-area civic center where she received her diploma. But Democratic activists have organized watch parties across the state and supporters are using the buildup to organize volunteers and raise money.
A Democrat has not won statewide office in Texas since 1994. Davis is the only major candidate expected to seek the Democratic nomination for governor.
Her likely opponent in the general election would be Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is largely considered the heir-apparent to Gov. Rick Perry. At the end of June, Abbott had raised more than $20 million, while Davis had a little over $1 million.
Abbott is a conservative Republican with tea party and evangelical Christian support based on his calls for less government spending and a complete ban on elective abortions. Davis is a centrist Democrat who made her reputation with pro-business policies as a Fort Worth city council member and advocating for greater spending on education and health care as a state senator.
A poll this summer by the Democrat-leaning Public Policy Polling on a hypothetical matchup had Abbott leading by 8 percentage points.
Davis’ filibuster failed to stop the abortion proposal in the Republican-control Legislature.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.