Lauren Davis: From turmoil to triumph
In 2022, Lauren Davis was a newcomer on the political scene and ran as a Republican for Dallas County Judge against incumbent, Clay Jenkins. While Jenkins went on to win that race, it inspired Lauren to continue contributing to her love of community and ensuring that all Dallas families will be heard.
Lauren was born and raised in Texas, in Houston and later moved to Canyon Lake, located in Comal County near San Antonio. Growing up working class, Lauren and her family struggled. They lived below the poverty line in an environment that was marked by addiction and turmoil. Despite the hardships, her parents' love shone through the darkness, leaving an indelible mark on her views of marriage and family. Lauren played softball in high school and it was through softball that she had a second home, another family that looked out for her even while her dad was in jail because he was convicted of driving while intoxicated.
“At my high school graduation, it was the last time I saw him alive. He was very intoxicated and he was at the horse track trying to win me money for college. . . I was the first to go to college in my immediate family.” per Davis.
Lauren’s father would then pass away when she was just 18 years old.
Being the first in her immediate family to attend college, Davis pursued her dreams in the fashion industry, setting out on a life-changing journey from small-town Texas to the bustling city of New York.
“I wanted to go into fashion and I had applied to the Fashion Institute of Technology in NY and got in. I had never been to New York before being dropped off for college and barely ever traveled . . . I had a dream and a vision to make something of myself.” per Davis. “I still went after my dad died and my mom flew me up there and dropped me off. It was a very fun growing experience . . . from small town Texas to the big city. . . It was life changing and character shaping.”
Throughout her life, Lauren encountered influential people who provided a positive impact amidst her trials. The Dove family was one of those families. Lauren played softball with daughter Ashlee in high school. Per Davis, “They showed me - a tight knit family - what family could be - invited me to sleepovers, church on Sundays - showed me what a positive family experience could be. No family is without their troubles and they stayed intact and that made a huge impression on me.”
Lauren’s softball coaches, Wayne and Lisa Daigle, one of Texas high school softball's best coaching tandem, were also influential in Lauren’s life. Says Lauren, “they were tough. So tough. I appreciated the toughness . . . the discipline. They were strong believers that led our FCA chapter - Fellowship of Christian Athletes. They were extremely formative and neutralized the trauma I experienced.”
It was the power of these relationships where Laurn witnessed the transformative power of a healthy family dynamic and perseverance.
Lauren's introduction to politics came after the tragic events of 9/11. Her father's desire to volunteer in the aftermath of the attack inspired her to visit Ground Zero. This experience left a profound mark on her, igniting a newfound interest in politics and patriotism. Lauren's high school sweetheart and husband, Ben Davis, had been her unwavering support system. They have been together for over 18 years and have spent more time together over the course of their lives than they have been apart.” Their shared commitment to personal growth and success has strengthened their bond and fueled their drive to make a positive impact. Ben has told her that “You are so much more capable than you think you are.”
The pivotal moment that led Lauren to consider politics was her children's experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her family’s defiance to mask mandates was a story quickly picked up by the media where many in the political divide were either treating her and her family as heroes or ostracizing her and her family.
Stepping into the political arena, Lauren faced resistance by others in her own party, but her genuine approach and dedication to making a difference resonated with the community. She ran as a Republican and she successfully navigated the challenges, garnering immense support from everyday people seeking change. At the time Lauren and her husband were also operating their businesses amidst the myriad of ordinances that affected their ability to remain open due to COVID. “My husband felt I was getting worked up and he was in survival mode. I went down the path of why - and why is it happening? This was the moment I decided to run for office (county judge) - this particular moment and why our marriage has stayed healthy” per Davis. “We both cried - we could feel the Holy Spirit roll through us - that decision - I’m all in. Such a cool moment. He is such a huge help. He was a huge catalyst and he spoke that truth. My kids were like ‘go mom - yes”
As a result of her family’s decision to go maskless, Lauren felt the school was isolating and ostracizing her kids. Kids were calling her daughter names. The school would move them around the library, eventually building a plexiglass from the floor to ceiling. According to Lauren, her children were bullied and treated differently for refusing to wear masks. As a family, they lost friends, their kids lost friends. Members of their community were organizing people against Lauren and her family, trying to get her kids expelled. After clarifying further with Lauren, she stated, “The kids went unmasked until the retaliation and isolation became so intense we pulled them from the school.”
For Lauren, “this experience was 100% the reason to run. I was going to school board meetings and I met this group of really strong women where I met Anne Stone. She came to me and said have you ever thought of running against Clay Jenkins - then I started thinking about it. Started getting calls. I ran in the Primary against the Republican establishment. They tried to mess with my residency to keep me from filing. I won the primary by a 2 to 1 margin, beating Dallas’ Republican establishment.” Running as a Republican in the Democrat dominated Dallas is tough, but it is even tougher when it seems like your own local party is against you.
Lauren is taking what she learned during her campaign and continuing her venture into politics and advocacy by running to be the next chair of the Dallas County Republican Party. From her campaign website, Davis4Dallas.com “I believe in a Dallas County that gives control back to the families, young professionals, and business owners who live and work here. And, I also believe in a Dallas County that champions freedom, rewards hard work, and fosters growth. That will only happen if we restore a winning Republican Party, and I am ready for the challenge.”
Lauren's commitment to her community remains unwavering. She also launched a video podcast, "For the Love of Dallas," highlighting individuals and organizations making a difference in the community through their time and efforts.
Lauren Davis's experiences have shaped her commitment to positive change. Through faith, perseverance, and the support of loved ones, Lauren hopes to serves as a shining example for the next generation of women leaders seeking to create meaningful change in their communities.
NOTE: Views shared in this article are not the views of Lone Star Parity Project. For more information on COVID-19, please visit the Center For Disease Control’s website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html