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Democrats Forming Senate Strategy With Davis Vacating Seat

Ryan Poppe | Texas Public Radio

In order to maintain a balance of power in the Texas Senate, Democrats are planning to recover the seat that will be vacated by Wendy Davis as she leaves it to run for governor.

State Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, has confidence his party will be able to fill that seat or possibly one of the other five vacant Republican seats in the Texas Senate.

"I think that we will have a Democratic candidate that will run for state Senate in Senate District 10," West said. "I firmly believe with Wendy’s campaign that that individual will be able to get the word out in terms of who that person is and so I firmly believe we will have 12 Democratic senators in the state Senate."

But in that scenario there is a lot of maybes and in the past two elections Davis won back her Senate district by a very narrow margin in a Republican-dominated district.

But West said they have back up plan if Davis' seat is lost.

"If it’s a lost seat what ends up happening is all the Democrats will have to pull together as a block in order to block anything coming up," West said. "Here’s the thing, I don’t know the future of the two-thirds rule any more. The reality is that there will be many a conversation on whether the two-thirds rule has outlived its usefulness."

Republicans currently have 19 of the 31 Senate seats, giving them an edge in passing legislation, which requires a two-thirds vote (21 votes) by traditional Senate rules.

Republicans threw out the two-thirds voting rule in the Senate so they could pass this summer's controversial abortion bill that is now being challenged in federal court.