Democratic Texas governor hopeful Wendy Davis visited the Transmountain Campus of El Paso Community College on Thursday to speak to students and administrators about the importance of public education.
"My gateway was opened to my future because of community college," said state Sen. Davis, (D) Fort Worth.
Davis attended a Forth Worth-area community college before enrolling at TCU and Harvard. Before that, she spent first grade at an El Paso elementary school -- she moved around a lot as a child -- though she couldn't remember which school.
She toured the EPCC campus Thursday, spoke with staff about curriculum and listened as students share their career goals.
"I do want to go into computer engineering," said Transmountain Early College High School student Aaron Juarez, 16.
Juarez likes Davis' platform, he said, in the wake of state lawmakers recently restoring much of the funding that was cut two years ago from public schools and community colleges.
"We have to do better than that in Texas and make education a priority, both at the public school level, as well as the higher education arena," Davis said.
"Any time that public education is cut, then there's a long-term effect for the state of Texas and for the greater El Paso area," said EPCC President Dr. William Serrata.
Davis is best known for her June filibuster of a bill that would tighten abortion regulations statewide. A federal judge Thursday said the bill can take effect immediately, after another judge shot down the legislation Monday.
Nearly six months later, Davis is still fielding questions about the 11-hour filibuster. The former single teen mom's stance drew curiosity about any questions her daughter may have wrestled with at the time.
"Let's be clear," said Davis, who assured reporters that her family was supportive of her legislative stall tactic. "My goal is that we have zero abortions in the state of Texas."
And like her fight for reproductive rights, Davis said public education has a long road ahead.
"I really hope she does something," Juarez said.
If Davis gets the Democratic gubernatorial nod this spring, she would likely run against Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.