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Texas Democrats Focus on Women, Voter Outreach at 2014 State Party Convention

Texas Democrats are in Dallas for their party’s statewide convention that was called to order shortly after 6 p.m. Friday.

Thousands of elected officials, candidates and activists have come to nominate the candidates for governor and lieutenant governor – State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, and Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, and Democrats are also already working on their party platform.

"We think it’s going to be in a direct contrast to the Republican platform, which is very anti-immigrant, anti-worker, anti-woman, it is basically very exclusive," Will Hailer, the executive director of the Texas Democratic Party, told KUT. He says in contrast to the Republican platform, the Democratic one will focus on issues like water resources, shoring up public education, raising wages and immigration reform.

Aside from Sens. Davis and Van de Putte, speakers at the convention included U.S. Rep.  Joaquin Castro, TX-20, State Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, State Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin and Houston Mayor Anise Parker.

"One thing you’re not going to see is a crazy six, eight hour floor fight like you saw in the Republican side," Hailer said, adding that Democrats are used to discussing different ideas and finding common ground.

So far, there's been no fighting, except for pledges to fight for a victory in the November election.

"Even as I'm standing before you tonight, I know we'll be fighting side by side this day and every day until we have a voice in the governor's office," Davis said, to loud cheers.

During her speech, Davis described her Republican opponent, Attorney General Greg Abbott, as a "member of the old insiders' network protecting insiders," as someone who's fought to "deprive basic health services to women across this state," she said.

After she finished, she greeted the many supporters who surrounded the stage while she spoke, taking so-called "selfie" photos with fans and giving hugs and hand shakes.

Today the convention continues with speeches and committee meetings and presentations of reports before the convention adjourns.