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Abbott, like Republicans elsewhere, intends to campaign hard against President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

Davis, once a single mother who worked two jobs and struggled financially, is making education the cornerstone of her campaign. Davis said she hopes to welcome President Barack Obama in April when he visits Texas, where he lost in 2012 by 16 points.

Asked how much she’ll talk to voters about women’s health and the divisive subject of abortion rights, Davis said she’s not shying away from the issue that propelled her to political stardom.

“That particular issue fits into a broader framework. This is about keeping family healthy,” Davis said.

Major groups supporting Davis include Planned Parenthood and EMILY’s List, which have given six-figure donations. But Steve Mostyn, a Houston lawyer and one of the country’s biggest Democratic donors, who poured more than $3.5 million into the last Texas governor’s race in 2010, wouldn’t say how much he and others will be willing to commit to Davis.

“That money is there. And it will be there when we decide to go get it,” Mostyn said. “We just continue to watch other people lift the load.”

Some Texas voters are clearly intrigued by Davis.

James Walters, 67, a retiree in Houston who described himself as a fiscal conservative who would likely back Abbott, said he’ll be watching her campaign.

“It depends on what happens,” Walters said. “She might convince me.”


Associated Press Writer Ramit Plushnick-Masti in Houston contributed to this report.


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