Davis, Abbott tapped for Texas governor

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AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas Republicans picked the state's attorney general in the fight to succeed longtime Gov. Rick Perry, while a rising Democratic star coasted to her party's nomination Tuesday night during the nation's first statewide primary.

Attorney General Greg Abbott clinched the Republican nomination for governor and Democrat Wendy Davis locked up her party's selection, thereby making official a showdown poised to become a record-shattering arm's race of fundraising in a Texas gubernatorial election.

In another sign of a rightward drift, state Sen. Dan Patrick, who drew heat from even fellow Republicans for bemoaning an "invasion" of immigrants coming across the Texas-Mexico border, appeared headed for a runoff in the lieutenant governor's race with longtime incumbent David Dewhurst.

Democrats set on breaking the nation's longest losing streak in races for statewide office, meanwhile, hoped a charismatic headliner in Davis would turn out long-dormant voters.

Davis, who catapulting to national political stardom last summer with a nearly 13-hour filibuster over abortion restrictions, is the first female gubernatorial nominee in Texas since Ann Richards in 1994.

Her underdog campaign has raised $16 million so far behind a whopping 91,000 individual donors and big checks from abortion-rights groups.

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