Texans deserve better than failed leaders who dole out favors to friends and cronies behind closed doors. It's time for a governor who believes that you don't have to buy a place in Texas' future. It's time for a governor who believes that the future of Texas belongs to all of us.
We can't accept that it's O.K. if only some kids get to go to college.
Texas deserves a leader who understands that making education a priority creates good jobs for Texans and keeps Texas on top.
It's great to talk about how good things are now. But we can't sit on our laurels and expect that our time will sustain itself if we don't do a better job on issues like education… It's absolutely the case that the low cost of college tuition that I was able to enjoy and the financial aid I was able to receive made my education possible.
I would be lying if I told you that I hadn't had aspirations to run for a statewide office.
Let's make sure that we are working for age-appropriate sex education in our school system.
I was one of those kids that could just show up and take the test and do well on it. I didn't study a whole lot.
I haven't pursued it as a senator because I know it's like spitting in the wind. But I still believe it's the right thing. And if I were governor and a bill came to my desk that provided for background checks at gun shows, I would sign that.
As a senator from the only true swing district in the Texas Senate, I've been targeted by the GOP for my outspoken criticism of their extremist attacks on public education and voting rights, to name just two examples.
I'm not an overnight sensation. I'm a Texan. And I'm a Texas success story. I am the epitome of hard work and optimism.
We need to get away from labels. That's the way people talk in Washington, D.C. – through labels, through ideological frames, through partisan frames.
My dad is truly the person who always made me believe in myself, to appreciate that I was smart.
The truth is that at age 19, I was a teenage mother living alone with my daughter in a trailer and struggling to keep us afloat on my way to a divorce. And I knew then that I was going to have to work my way up and out of that life if I was going to give my daughter a better life and a better future, and that's what I've done.
Americans have the right under the Second Amendment to own firearms, and that is not going to change.
Real Texans don't want any woman to die of cancer because she can't get decent health care or medical advice. Real Texans don't want any woman to lose control of her life because she can't get birth control.
When I first put my hat in the ring, several very tried and true and loyal Democratic activists from our community said, 'What? She's not a Democrat. She's a Republican.' I took that as a compliment, you know, that people didn't necessarily know what my ideology might be because I wasn't driven by that.
Let's make sure that we don't close down 37 of the 42 clinics in Texas and leave women with nowhere to go and put them in a situation where their health will be at risk, because what we do know is that closing down the ability to access that service unfortunately does not take the need away or women's confronting that issue away.
I'm a very competitive person. You won't change things unless you are prepared to fight, even if you don't win. But I do hate losing.
Texans don't want to sit back and watch Austin turn into Washington, D.C. State leaders in power keep forcing people to opposite corners to prepare for a fight instead of coming together to get things done.
While Texas women have the right to safe, legal abortion, in reality there are already very few facilities in Texas to provide this essential care. In 2008, 92 percent of Texas counties had no abortion provider.
I can say with absolute certainty that I will run for one of two offices: my state Senate seat or for the governor. I'm still trying to decide, but I do think people are ready for a change from the partisan, very fractured leadership we have in Texas.
It's my strong belief that when people love each other and are desirous of creating a committed relationship with each other that they should be allowed to marry, regardless of their sexual orientation.
Real Texans believe in looking out for each other. We believe in honoring our mothers and fathers and keeping our smallest residents – our children – healthy.
I've never worried about payback. People are hungry for leadership that's not afraid of political consequence.
When you're serving at the local level, you have to build strong personal relationships to get things done.
Most people would identify with the fact that we tend to be defined by the struggles we came through than by the successes. And certainly for me that's true.
Real Texans want their kids to have the best education possible, not the one politicians looking to brag about budget cuts have left us with.
I've always been open about my life not because my story is unique, but because it isn't.
Texas really is the greatest state in the greatest nation. Texans – and women all over the country – deserve leaders that care, that listen, and that work to protect their interests.
Harvard was the most intimidating experience. I felt so out of my league there.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality – what a joke. In my district, we caught them lying to us about the results of air quality studies in the Barnett Shale. They are playing with the health and safety of our communities, and we are going to tell them that is not acceptable.
I am running for my Senate district in 2014 and looking forward hopefully to earning the confidence of my community once again and being reelected for that seat.
I hope telling the story of how I went from being a single mom to serving in the Texas State Senate to running for governor will remind others that with the right leadership in government, where you start has nothing to do with how far you go.
I always stand out by the voting lines on Election Day, and I can't tell you how many people say, 'I've never voted for a Democrat in my life, but I'm splitting my ticket for you.' They're more engaged and thoughtful than we give them credit for.
I was living as a young single mom. I was 19 when I was divorced, and my daughter was a year old, and I waited tables here three to four nights a week for several years while I was trying to support myself and my daughter and the day I got that acceptance at Harvard Law School was an unforgettable day.
Texas has waited too long for a governor who knows that quid pro quo shouldn't be the status quo. It's time for a governor who believes that you don't have to buy a place in Texas' future.
If I were governor, and a bill came to my desk that provided for background checks at gun shows, I would sign that.
We believe in honoring our mothers and fathers and keeping our smallest residents – our children – healthy. The politicians in charge of Texas now clearly don't. Perry has refused to even consider expanding health care coverage in Texas because he cares more about scoring political points than he does about our Texas families.
I am proud of where I came from, and I am proud of what I've been able to achieve through hard work and perseverance. And I guarantee you that anyone who tries to say otherwise hasn't walked a day in my shoes.
Enough to using Texas as a political laboratory for testing far-right ideas. Enough to using Texas as a workshop for fattening the wallets of their special interest friends and supporters. And enough of politicians listening only to each other, rather than real Texans.
Let's face it, Obama is not a hugely popular political figure in the state of Texas.
We know that Texas is more than a state. Texas has always been a promise. The promise that where you start has nothing to do with how far you can come.
Mine is a story about a teenage single mother who struggled to keep her young family afloat. It's a story about a young woman who was given a precious opportunity to work her way up in the world. It's a story about resiliency, and sacrifice, and perseverance. And you're damn right it's a true story.
I think you have to be careful. You have to know exactly what is going to resonate with voters. And you can't get ahead of that. You have to be very careful with your approach.
I think that any woman who had a conversation with me and had an opportunity to truly understand my life story wouldn't view it through a critical lens. There are people, of course, in the world of politics, who look for things to be critical about. But those people are already against you.
Texas Republican political leaders take perverse pride in how deeply they have cut our state's education budget. Thousands of teachers have been pulled from classrooms, schools have closed and valuable programs have been canceled. In many places, districts are forced to choose between prekindergarten programs and English, algebra and art.