In a thorough profile piece yesterday, CNN put the spotlight on a woman running statewide in Texas: Lieutenant Governor candidate Leticia Van de Putte.
From her impressive history as a powerful legislative force at the pink dome to her refreshingly down to earth demeanor despite her importance as a statewide candidate, the overarching point of the piece was clear: “The San Antonio state senator could accomplish what no Democrat has done in 20 years: win statewide office.”
Find out why CNN thinks Leticia Van de Putte has what it takes to be our next Lieutenant Governor.Firstly, CNN reports, she has legislative clout. As Progress Texas pointed out in 2013, she was a key supporter on many important pieces of legislation, such as the education bill from last session (House Bill 5). A leader on the anti-human trafficking efforts and a champion for veterans, Van de Putte has a proven history of fighting for issues that matter to Texans.
Though it was her question of Republican leadership in the Senate during the filibuster that brought her back into the spotlight, this is not the first time Van de Putte has led her fellow Democrats in a highly publicized move to block Republican efforts to railroad Texas governance. In 2003, she headed the efforts to break quorum in the Senate to stop DeLay's redistricting power grab.
Not only is she a Texas legislative “power broker,” she is also a sixth-generation Texan. Her family is culturally important in her hometown of San Antonio, where she still works as a neighborhood pharmacist when she isn't at the capitol or on the campaign trail. Van de Putte isn't just a champion on the Senate floor, she is also the kind of person that your average Texan can relate to.
This is the part of the profile that turns expressly political: Van de Putte has the capacity to appeal to those voters who could turn the tide in the fight for statewide office this November. As the profile points out:
…in Texas, where more than one-third of people are Hispanic, 61% of those eligible did not vote. Contrast that with the statistic that shows that 61% of eligible whites did, according to the group Latino Decisions.
Democratic National Committee finance chair Henry Munoz explains, “This is an important moment in the history of Texas. The demographics of the state are changing. We need leaders who look like us and understand who we are.”
Leticia San Miguel Van de Putte is that leader. As a mother, grandmother, and proven champion for reproductive justice, she also has the capacity to energize women across the state – and across the aisle. Grace Garcia, director of Annie's List, was the one who approached her about seriously considering a run for the statewide office. Her ability to appeal to women voters was a key reason why.
Though the piece also mentions the struggles Van de Putte faces – especially in regards to fundraising – it comes down to the same story her supporters in Texas have been telling for a while: Texas deserves better. Texas deserves a Lieutenant Governor like Leticia San Miguel Van de Putte – and she could win.