Veteran San Antonio State Senator Leticia Van de Putte has begun her uphill battle to become the first female Lieutenant Governor in the state's history, 1200 WOAI news reports.
Van de Putte, along with her campaign entourage, set out from the Firefighters Hall on the city's northwest side Sunday on a bus tour to introduce herself to the state. Despite having a high profile in San Antonio and in the Legislature, Van de Putte is relatively unknown statewide, and isn't the media darling that her running mate, governor candidate Wendy Davis, has become.
"From the Rio Grande Valley to El Paso to the Gulf Cost," Van de Putte said of her 15 city, nine day tour."
While Van de Putte is campaigning, it still remains unclear who she will face in the general election. State Sen. Dan Patrick and incumbent Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick are in a runoff that will be decided on May 27th.
"While they are shouting at each other, they have failed to listen to the voices of working families," Van de Putte said.
Letitica San Miguel Van de Putte, 59, was born in Washington State, where her father was stationed at Fort Lewis. But her family is originally from San Antonio, and she returned to The Alamo City. She graduated from the University of Texas and attended the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
"I am focusing on mainstream Texas families, who don't always participate in the primary process," Van de Putte said. "But they vote in November, and it is those folks who I am listening to. The Republicans definitely are not listening."
Van de Putte would also become the first Hispanic Lieutenant Governor in Texas. Considered to be one of the most thoughtful and mainstream Democrats in the Texas Legislature, she is given a fair chance of becoming the first Democrat elected to statewide, non judicial office since Bob Bullock won the job she now seeks back in 1994. Van de Putte's chances will be greater, analysts agree, if the hard-right Patrick is the Republican nominee. Many experts give Van de Putte better odds of winning the Lieutenant Governor’s race than Davis has to be elected governor. The two do not run as a 'ticket,' like the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates, but both have made clear their campaigns will support each other.
But it is still a hard climb for Van de Putte, in a state where Republicans still rule politics, and where President Obama has, if anything, become even more unpopular over the last four years.