Leticia Van de Putte Running for Lieutenant Governor
When Leticia Van de Putte walked into the storied Willard Hotel one block from the White House last month, she didn’t invoke the stares of gaping tourists or eager handshakes from power-seeking staffers.
Instead, she rolled her own suitcase wearing Texas Longhorn cowboy boots — an accessory she was happy she brought from Texas on that snowy March day in the nation’s capital.
Van de Putte gave no hints that she was running for lieutenant governor, the second-highest office in Texas — and some would argue the most powerful. She was deferential to hotel staff and eagerly arranged oversized chairs to set up for the interview — rare in a town where elected officials have staff at their beck and call, even to dial numbers on their mobile phones.
Her profile is on the rise
The San Antonio state senator could accomplish what no Democrat has done in 20 years: win statewide office.
The pharmacist has been a power broker during her nearly 25 years in the state legislature. In 2003, she led the dramatic 45-day walkout that Senate Democrats staged over the Republican redistricting plan. The lawmakers bolted to New Mexico, delaying a vote on the plan, although Republicans were eventually able to pass it.
Van de Putte doesn’t elicit the same star power or national intrigue as Wendy Davis, her state Senate colleague at the top of the ticket. Davis grabbed national headlines last June when she staged an 11-hour filibuster in the Texas Senate that blocked restrictive abortion legislation from being passed.