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Democrats Await Van de Putte's Decision As Candidate Filing Begins

Shelley Kofler
Sen. Leticia Van de Putte talks to a supporter in Arlington.

Republican Greg Abbott and Democrat Wendy Davis both plan to officially file as candidates for governor on Saturday. It’s the first day of a month-long period where Democrats and Republicans can do that.

In Arlington Thursday night Rep. Chris Turner and Democrats urged State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio to join Davis on the ticket as a candidate for lieutenant governor. 

  The 22-year legislative veteran and Latina was the senator who followed Davis’s abortion bill filibuster with words that launched a protest by hundreds of women in the capitol.

She says Republican leaders in Austin have shown disrespect for health and equal pay policies that directly affect women. And she says the four Republicans running for lieutenant governor have angered many Hispanics by demanding an end to in-state tuition for Texas high school graduates who were brought here by undocumented parents.

“The first things out of their mouths was to spew such anti-immigrant, very toxic sentiments,” Van de Putte said of candidates David Dewhurst, Dan Patrick, Todd Staples and Jerry Patterson

“In what society, in what America that we have, do we hold children responsible for their parents’ transgressions?  How do you punish children for something their parents have done?” Van de Putte asked.

Van de Putte sponsored the legislation known as the Texas Dream Act.

She says she expects to announce whether she'll run for lieutenant governor by Thanksgiving.  She delayed her decision because of the deaths of her father, infant grandson and mother-in-law, all this year.

KERA will have more from our conversation with Van de Putte next week. 

Former KERA staffer Shelley Kofler was news director, managing editor and senior reporter. She is an award-winning reporter and television producer who previously served as the Austin bureau chief and legislative reporter for North Texas ABC affiliate WFAA-TV.