Leticia Van de Putte speech in Montgomery County
The Houston Chronicle gave a ringing endorsement to Leticia Van de Putte. What is shocking about the endorsement is the categorical dismissal of her opponent Dan Patrick.
The differences between the candidates this year could hardly be more stark. State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio, the Democratic candidate, is not only knowledgeable and experienced but also congenial and easy to work with. Her Republican opponent, state Sen. Dan Patrick of Houston, is divisive, disruptive and self-aggrandizing.
We urge a vote for Van de Putte. Texas voters, regardless of party, need to think long and hard about a potential demagogue becoming lieutenant governor.
The Houston Chronicle's harsh rebuke of Dan Patrick did not end there. They made it known that Republican and Democratic politicians alike are concerned about the disruptive nature a Dan Patrick Lieutenant Governorship would bring.
A former radio shock jock, Patrick has pursued a talk-radio agenda during his two terms in the Texas Senate. Like a heat-seeking missile, he homes in on those issues that are guaranteed to divide and disrupt.
Given the senator's inclination to be needlessly provocative and outrageous, it's little wonder that his Senate colleagues, including fellow Republicans, are deeply concerned about the prospect of Patrick wielding the gavel as lieutenant governor. Both Republican and Democratic senators have been quietly exploring ways to curb the powers of the office if Patrick is elected.
Of Leticia Van de Putte the Houston Chronicle said the following.
Van de Putte, a moderate Democrat of Mexican descent, is a mother, grandmother and small-businesswoman. She was elected to the Texas House in 1990 and the Senate in 1999. The exact opposite of Patrick, the 59-year-old lawmaker has earned the respect of her colleagues in the majority-Republican Senate. They know she'll work with them.
They also know she'll respect the system of checks and balances that has prevented the state Senate from becoming a mirror image of dysfunctional Washington. For example, she will respect the Senate's venerable two-thirds tradition of requiring 21 votes to bring legislation to the floor. The tradition - it's not a rule - is designed to respect the rights of members who belong to the minority party. Patrick has vowed to abolish it. Under his reign, Democrats will be expected to show up and shut up.
Van de Putte as lieutenant governor can be trusted to focus not on divisive social issues but on the issues that matter to the great majority of Texans: their children's education, transportation and infrastructure, among them. Chair of the Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs and Military Installations, she also spends a great deal of time on veterans' issues, as befits an elected official from San Antonio.
As a practicing pharmacist, she's conversant with health care issues and would seek to find a way for Texas to expand Medicaid, thus bringing billions of tax dollars back to the state and reducing the inexcusable number of uninsured. Patrick and his GOP cohorts are opposed to expansion.
Every Republican should take heed of the Houston Chronicle's last paragraph. They will determine if Texas moves forward or recedes.
For Van de Putte to have any chance at all in this flame-red state, many Republican voters will have to split their tickets. If their primary concern is the future of this state and not party loyalty, that's exactly what they'll do in their choice for lieutenant governor. Van de Putte, we believe, is best for Texas.