Leticia Van De Putte Announces Statewide Bus Tour
Op-Ed By Senator Leticia Van De Putte
If you're reading on Saturday or early Sunday, then you might have time to catch me right before I leave town for a while. On Sunday, 1:30 p.m. at the San Antonio Firefighters Banquet Hall (8925 I-10 West), I'll kick off a weeklong, statewide bus tour in my campaign for Lieutenant Governor. (You're invited! Please join us!)
From there, my campaign crew and I will head south to Alice, then to the Rio Grande Valley (McAllen, Edinburg, Pharr) and then along the border to Laredo and El Paso. We'll loop up north (Lubbock, Wichita Falls, DFW) and east (Longview, Lufkin, Nacogdoches) before finishing up in Houston, Corpus Christi and Austin. I imagine we'll be pretty tired by the time we get back home to San Antonio!
But it will be worth it. Texas is a big state with diverse needs, and I want to get to know them.
One of my role models, especially now, is the late, iconic Texas Governor Ann Richards. She once said, "I thought I knew Texas pretty well, but I had no notion of its size until I campaigned it."
Although Lubbock and the Valley both have heavily agricultural economies, I know they are very different places. El Paso, Dallas, Houston and Austin may all be among the 20 largest cities in the nation, but all have starkly different personalities. Campaigning statewide requires listening to the people in all of these areas, learning what they expect of government, and then unifying them all under the Lone Star flag so that we may move forward together as a single state.
And when I say unify, I don't just mean Democrats or those who usually agree with me. I mean all the people of Texas. During my 30 years as a pharmacist and legislator, I've learned that to really serve people, first you listen - then you talk. That's why I've been able to work with Republicans, Independents and Democrats to solve problems. I've worked with Fortune 500 executives, community activists, doctors and nurses, firefighters and financial executives, all sharing the same goal - keeping Texas the best place to live in the country. And I am proud to say I've developed friendships and working relationships with all of them.
I think that's a big part of the reason that I have gotten encouragement from some prominent Republican business leaders - Houston Republican Massey Villarreal said he's strongly considering pledging support for me, and San Antonio restaurateur Louis Barrios not only supports me, he actually threw a fundraising event for my campaign!
Why would they do this? The explanation is simple, really. While a handful of voters get worked up over so-called "wedge issues," the overwhelming majority of Texans are instead concerned about solving the problems of everyday life, regardless of party - education, job opportunities, good roads, a dependable and clean water supply, and taking care of our veterans.
That's why I'll be hitting the road. I want to exchange ideas with all Texans in all corners of the state on how we tackle those problems. There's no hurdle too high for this state if we just listen to one another and work together, and that's what I'll do as Lieutenant Governor.
I look forward to seeing you on Sunday!
State Senator Leticia Van de Putte represents District 26 in Bexar County. You can learn more about her campaign at www.leticiavandeputte.com.