DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas is welcoming thousands of Texas Democrats on Thursday as the party kicks off its 2014 state convention at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in downtown. Women’s issues are expected to be in the spotlight during the three-day event.

Among the this year’s featured speakers are the two women who are vying to be the first female duo to run the Lone Star State — Wendy Davis, who is running for governor, and Leticia Van de Putte, the lieutenant governor candidate. In an interview with KERA, Texas Democratic Party chairman Gilberto Hinojosa said that the two women are promoting a message that is in line with mainstream Texas.

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The theme of the convention is “A Texas Promise.”

Issues expected to be addressed include funding for public education, access to healthcare, well-paying jobs, taking care of the environment and equal treatment for women. Hinojosa stated that immigration is another big topic that will be discussed at the convention, and state Democrats will call for major immigration reform.

“Ultimately, we have to have the resources to get our message out. That’s what it’s going to come down to,” said party communications director Manny Garcia. “There’s going to be millions and millions of dollars of special interests on the Republican side trying to fight back, and what we need to do is make sure that we get our message out.”

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The convention begins at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday. Davis and Van de Putte both speak on Friday night. Several other Democratic leaders are set to address attendees over the next three days. Officials expect between 4,000 and 7,000 people to be in attendance.

State Republicans held their own convention in Fort Worth a few weeks ago.

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