We're excited to break some big news from EMILY's List: today they're announcing their endorsement of Senator Leticia Van de Putte for Lieutenant Governor!
This endorsement is actually a pretty big deal: it comes with political clout, and the potential of strong financial support. EMILY's list works hard for its endorsed candidates.
The endorsement is also a sign that Senator Leticia Van de Putte is viewed as a serious contender in the race, and will have the support she needs to campaign hard. Not every female candidate is formally endorsed by EMILY's List — it's a big early score for the Senator, and a sign that our all-female top of the ticket will have serious support.
It's also a reminder not to count Van de Putte out. The four Republican candidates for Lite Gov are a collection of extremist right-wing ideologues. They all want to repeal the 17th Amendment, the direct election of US Senators. The four Republicans running are virulently anti-woman, anti-LGBT, anti-immigrant — basically, anti-anyone who doesn't vote in a Republican primary run-off.
EMILY's List will be able to help amplify the contrast between Senator Van de Putte's record of leadership on issues affecting veterans, families, and students, and the extremists vying to face her in the general election.
Read more about why this is important below the jump, and check out the statement from EMILY's List on the endorsement!The fact that the premiere national organization dedicated to electing pro-choice Democratic women is endorsing Van de Putte means that they view her as a serious candidate with a real chance of winning.
EMILY's List doesn't endorse lightly. These are calculated political moves that come with extensive support — and this early endorsement is a real boon for Van de Putte's campaign. This is another way for EMILY's List to demonstrate that we've got a real chance to win here in Texas thanks to an energized electorate still engaged after the events of the special sessions this past summer.
Additionally, EMILY's List now boasts over 3,000,000 members — yep, 3 million — and a substantial grassroots fundraising base who have likely wondered themselves the same question Senator Van de Putte so memorably asked during the filibuster — “At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over her male colleagues?”
It is crucial that Van de Putte have enough financial resources and support to campaign hard — especially in Hispanic areas of Texas, including the Rio Grande Valley, where turnout has lagged. In 2010, labor leader Linda Chavez-Thompson ran for Lite Gov on the ticket with Bill White but was not given the resources or support needed to really juice turnout south of I-10. It's not just enough for Democrats to nominate strong Latinas for statewide office: our party infrastructure needs to put their money where their encouragement is and make sure candidates have the resources to run top-notch campaigns.
EMILY's List has already endorsed Wendy Davis. This new endorsement is a sign that they take Van de Putte's candidacy seriously and will make sure she has the support necessary to run hard and do her part to not only help elect Democrats up and down the ballot, but also do her best to win the #2 job in the state.
Here is the full release from EMILY's List:
EMILY's List Endorses Leticia Van de Putte for Lieutenant Governor of Texas
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today EMILY's List, the nation's largest resource for women in politics, endorsed Leticia Van de Putte for lieutenant governor of Texas. EMILY's List has also endorsed Wendy Davis for governor of Texas. This is the first time in Texas history that two women will lead a major party's ticket for top statewide office.
“State Senator Leticia Van de Putte is a tough and inspiring leader who has been a strong voice for women and families in Texas,” said Stephanie Schriock, President of EMILY's List. “And now she's ready to take her fight for Texans to the next level as lieutenant governor. For too long, failed leaders in the Lone Star State have gotten away with silencing women and ignoring the real needs of Texas families. But Leticia is focused on building a better future for Texas by standing up for veterans and small business owners. The EMILY's List community – now three million members strong – is thrilled to support Leticia Van de Putte's groundbreaking campaign.”
Leticia Van de Putte received her bachelor's degree from the University of Texas at Austin, College of Pharmacy and was a Kellogg Fellow at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Senator Van de Putte has represented the people of San Antonio in the state legislature since 1991. She has served on the Senate Veteran Affairs and Military Installations Committee where she has been Chair for the past 10 years. She is also a member of the Senate Committees on Business and Commerce, State Affairs, and Education. Senator Van de Putte served as President of the National Conference of State Legislatures from 2006 to 2007 and President of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators from 2003 to 2005. She is an involved member of the National Assessment Governing Board and the American Legacy Foundation Board. Nationally, Senator Van de Putte served as Co-Chair of the 2008 Democratic National Convention. In 2013, Leticia was unanimously elected by her colleagues to serve as President Pro Tempore of the Texas Senate's 83rd Regular Session. Senator Van de Putte famously demanded her defense of women's healthcare be heard on the state Senate floor earlier this year. She lives in San Antonio with her husband Pete, has six children, and is a proud grandmother.
Leticia Van de Putte would help contribute toward a proud legacy in Texas. In 1990, EMILY's List helped elect Governor Ann Richards, the first woman governor of Texas elected in her own right.
EMILY's List, the nation's largest resource for women in politics, has raised over $350 million to support pro-choice Democratic women candidates – making it one of the most successful political action committees in the country. Throughout its 28 year history, the organization has recruited and trained over 8,000 women to run, worked to elect 101 pro-choice Democratic women to the House, 19 to the Senate, 10 governors, and over five hundred women to state and local office. Since its founding in 1985, EMILY's List helped elect 97% of the Democratic women of color in Congress, including every single Latina, African American, and Asian American Democrat ic woman currently serving. And during the 2011-2012 cycle, EMILY's List had the largest number of members and donors in its history and raised a record-breaking $52 million dollars. With the help of this growing community – now three million members strong – EMILY's List helped elect an historic number of candidates in 2012 including 19 new women to the House, six Senate incumbents, three new Senators, and 186 state and local officials.