Wendy Davis strode onto the floor of the Texas Senate chamber on Tuesday in rouge-red running shoes, and came off it early Wednesday morning as the Democratic Party’s newest star.
During 13 hours in between, the little-known legislator from Fort Worth delivered a filibuster that electrified social media and stopped passage of one of the nation’s toughest set of abortion restrictions in the waning hours of a special session.
As word spread, supporters thronged the capitol’s entrances, lined the walkways encircling the rotunda and turned the Senate chamber’s gallery into a cheering section.
What made the scene so riveting was the woman who was required to speak without a break, without straying from the topic and without even leaning on her antique walnut desk. As time ran out, Republicans deemed her to have violated those rules — including once for being helped with a back brace — and made her give up the floor.