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Former Texas State Senator Wendy Davis will be in Athens to encourage early voting and to campaign on behalf of Hillary Clinton. (Provided via Wikimedia Commons)

Texas politician and Clinton campaign surrogate Wendy Davis to visit Athens

Wendy Davis, a Democrat and former state senator from Texas, will visit Ohio University on Friday morning. Davis is scheduled to appear on College Green at 10:45 a.m. near the Alumni Gateway, according to a news release. 

Davis rose to prominence after her nearly 11-hour-long filibuster in 2013 against a bill that would strengthen abortion restrictions in the state. She has been campaigning for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and urging people to vote early. She will continue those efforts in Athens while also discussing "how Clinton is uniquely prepared for the presidency," according to a news release from the Clinton campaign.

Sam Miller, president of OU College Democrats, said Davis is a “strong advocate” for women and Planned Parenthood. Davis has also written about her own experiences with abortion. 

“I think there are a lot of women and advocates for Planned Parenthood on campus that need to be motivated on how important this election is,” Miller said. “After she’s done speaking, we’ll all go vote. She’s just awesome, I’m so glad she’s coming.”

Davis was in New Hampshire Thursday with EMILY's List president Stephanie Schriock canvassing for the Clinton campaign. The former state senator has also campaigned for Clinton on other college campuses, such as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in late September and Luther College in October. 

OU College Republicans President David Parkhill characterized the visit as an attempt by the Clinton campaign to appeal to young voters.

"The Clinton campaign keeps coming to Athens because they're focused on the millennial vote, especially after stealing (the election) from Bernie Sanders," he said. "They've got to get those millennial votes somehow."

Davis' visit to Athens Friday will be her first stop of an Ohio-based tour. She will also speak to supporters in Lancaster, Pickerington and Medina.  

Zach Reizes, a sophomore studying global studies war and peace and a member of Clinton's Athens campaign, said the announcement of her visit was officially made Thursday morning and that the timing of the announcement may impact how many students can actually attend. However, Reizes added that he thought Davis would receive a “largely warm welcome.”

“She is coming here to encourage everybody to vote, and to speak to the importance of having a president who appreciates everybody and treats everybody with the respect that humans deserve,” Reizes said. “That means, in particular, making sure that women have basic health rights, and she is a strong advocate for those rights.”

Reizes said Davis’ message would not only speak to how candidates for office should treat women — it would be a message against “unsolicited” behavior from men who “feel it is their right to not treat women like their equals.”

— Luke Torrance contributed to this report.

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