The Austin American Statesman finally heard the words many Texas Democrats had been waiting and hoping to hear out of Sen. Leticia Van de Putte's mouth earlier today. When reporter Jonathan Tilove asked Sen. Van de Putte about running for Lieutenant Governor in 2014, she responded:
First and foremost my thoughts are waiting to see what my sister colleague, Wendy Davis, is going to do, and then visiting with my family. It's not out of the realm of possibilities, but I have not made any decision.
This is the first time, publicly, that Sen. Van de Putte has acknowledged she is considering a statewide run for the 2014 cycle. During the 83rd regular session, Sen. Van de Putte was elected President Pro Tem of the Texas Senate by her colleagues and had the privilege of serving as Governor for a Day. Sen. Van de Putte was first elected in a special election in 1999 to State Senate District 26 based in downtown San Antonio, where she serves currently. Unlike Sen. Davis, Sen. Van de Putte would not have to leave the Texas Senate if she chose to run for a statewide office. Senate District 26's next regularly scheduled election is scheduled for 2016.
To see what else Sen. Van de Putte said and how you can best encourage her to run, click below the jump.Sen. Van de Putte had plenty of thoughts on the current state of Texas governance and the importance of family.
On our current Republican government:
“History will show that we have had 20 years of solid Republican rule and in those 20 years, I've seen our infrastructure needs (she cited water, transportation and education) ignored, until this very recent session, and what we're trying to do, as the speaker put it, with our highway funding is a band aid. It becomes really easy for those in office to say `no' and be so afraid of the next primary that they are very hesitant to say `yes' to even an increase in fees or a gasoline tax, which we haven't had in 22 years.”
She had plenty to say about her family, especially on the recent passing of her father:
“In May, when my father was here, I put senators kind of in charge of my family members. Wendy and (Sen. Kirk) Watson were in charge of daddy, and he just fell in love with Wendy. He knew her before, but he fell in love – we have so many pictures of her, Wendy and daddy – and well, who wouldn't fall in love with her, and Watson.”
She expanded, comparing her story to the recent tragedy suffered by Sen. Davis who recently lost her own father:
“I returned the night of my father's funeral and it just drove me to just do the best I could because he was so proud of me and I wanted to live up to it, but there isn't a day that goes by that I'm not still crying and missing him,” said Van de Putte yesterday.”
“Wendy was one of the first ones, of course, who came to give me love and comfort and my family when the baby died, and then when my dad died, she was one of the first people I talked to because I told her,`I can't be there, you are absolutely going to do this filibuster,' and she knew it.”
“It's been two months for us, that's part of the reason I don't know whether I'm going to to make that run. That, coupled with the loss of my grandson, our family is still hurting. I've got to tell you, my children - half of them think this would be a healing and rallying cause. First and foremost it's a family decision, then I have to talk to Wendy.”
She closed with:
“If there were ever a glimpse at the future of our state, it is in our family portraits. Some of my six children are just as brown as you'd expect from a family named San Miguel, my maiden name. But my other children's appearances reflect the Belgian and French genes of my husband, Pete Van de Putte.The majority of my grandchildren, despite their Latino heritage, have blue eyes. They are 75% Anglo, and they will someday be a minority in this state.”
“This is something to be embraced, not feared. Great things have emerged from the blending of our cultures. As we move forward into this new Texas, let these examples be our guide. Instead of separating into groups, let us say to the world, `Bienvenidos, y'all!'
If you want Sen. Van de Putte to run for Lieutenant Governor, the best thing you can can do is encourage Sen. Wendy Davis to run for Governor. Democrats will need a strong team and that starts at the top of the ticket. You can go here to encourage Sen. Wendy Davis to run for Governor in 2014.
If anyone needs refreshing as to what makes Sen. Van de Putte such a powerful force for Democrats and other progressives, one only needs to be reminded of her final words during Sen. Davis' filibuster from earlier this year.