- More police refusing to name shooters for fear of copycats
- Cruz says allowing Syrian refugees into US is 'crazy'
- Gov. Greg Abbott compares Cowboys' defense to Mexican border
- ATF: 6 weapons recovered at school, 7 others at shooter's home, all purchased legally
- Sinclair Broadcast Group announces 'Connect to Congress' and 'Full Measure'
- Obama tells media to tally up number of mass shootings vs. terrorist attacks, so we did
- Hearing set in Texas lawsuit over kids' birth certificates
- Abbott Again Presses Federal Government on Border Security
- Wendy Davis Formally Endorsing Clinton Presidential Bid
- Kentucky clerk who rejected marriage licenses for gays says she met with pope
- Report: US failing to stop most people trying to join ISIS
- House chair: Planned Parenthood doesn't need federal money
- Ethics Complaint Against Council Member Don Zimmerman Dismissed
- Referendum Would Let Top Texas Officials Live Outside Austin
- Trump unveils tax plan that would lower taxes for millions
- Pope Brings Ecology, Anti-Poverty Message To UN
- GOP Lawmakers: Speaker Boehner to resign at end of October
- Pope Urges Compassion For Immigrants
- Embrace immigrants, Pope Francis urges Congress
- Unsafe State Buildings Waiting For Repairs
- Washington crowds cheer pope; he calls for climate action
- Texas Lawmakers Review Jail Safety Standards
- Pope Francis heads for US and a deeply divided Washington
- Arizona sheriff could face fines for disobeying judge
- Kentucky clerk Kim Davis could head back to court over licenses
- Protesters Heckle Jeb Bush In Houston
- Walker 'Suspending' Campaign, Urges Unity Against Trump
- Trump condemned for not correcting statement Obama is Muslim
- Austin Council Bans New Short Term Rental-2 Licenses For a Year
- Jeb Bush Apologizes To Mom As Debate Turns To His Pot Use
- Trump and company come to California
- #IStandWithAhmed hashtag supports Muslim student arrested over homemade clock
- What you need to know about tonight's GOP debate
- Nationalist Group Wants TX Secession On Primary Ballot
- Trump In Dallas For Campaign Event
- Strategist: Perry Studied Up, Made Good Attempt At 2nd Run
- Perry Exiting 2016 Republican Presidential Race
- Texas Democrats Largely Back Obama on Iran Deal
- Indicted Texas Attorney General Hires New Legal Team
- City Leaders Suggest New Location For County Building
- New Law May Not Thwart Hays County Water Project
- Iran Deal Seems On Track After Day Of Discord
- Ben Carson: I will be president, 'if that's God's will'
- Changes To Carrying Guns At Austin City Hall
- KY Clerk Released From Jail; Supporters Cheer, Sing
- Judge Will Hear Birth Certificate Case Next Month
- Trump signs pledge to back GOP's 2016 presidential nominee
- Austin Limo & Taxi Drivers Don't Want To 'Pay The Price' Anymore
- Austin TNC Drivers Push City To Dump Proposed Regulations
- Perry campaign will have 1 paid staffer in Iowa
Texas Democrats Need More Than Davis In 2014
Updated: Monday, September 23 2013, 11:52 AM CDT
by Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune
Leticia Van de Putte, a Democratic state senator from San Antonio, might be part of the answer to the second question her party’s activists are asking these days.
The first question — will Wendy run? — will be answered Oct. 3 when state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, announces her decision on whether to run for governor or seek re-election.
The second, and this is where Van de Putte enters the conversation, is: Who else might be on the Democratic ticket?
If there is a line for those jobs, it’s not visible. Party leaders have put their hopes in Davis’ care and in the meantime have talked to candidates who might fill out the ballot behind her. Candidates like Van de Putte.
She is a midterm senator, meaning she could run for statewide office in 2014 without much risk. A win would put her in a new office. A loss would leave her where she is now.
Van de Putte has never run for statewide office, but her experience as a state lawmaker and her role in the drama that lit up the state’s Democrats this year put her on the list of potential candidates.
Anyone urging her to do this would point out that her gender could play well in a year when the Democrats are accusing the Republicans of conducting a war on women. The senator punctuated June’s dramatic debate over an abortion bill when she broke through a wall of men’s voices to say, "At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over her male colleagues?"
That's a decent reduction of Democrats’ objections to that legislation and of that day’s debate and filibuster. And in the context of the 2014 election, it makes Van de Putte a natural recruit for the ticket that will probably be headed by Davis, who shot to political stardom that same day.
There's a history argument. Prospective candidate Van de Putte would not be the first Latina to run for the lieutenant governor's office — Linda Chavez-Thompson, a union leader, ran on the Democratic ticket in 2010 — but the office has never been occupied by a woman or a Hispanic.
The biggest hurdles are obvious. Democrats haven’t won in statewide Texas elections for years. Their organization around the state withered over the last two decades, and current efforts to revive it — Battleground Texas is a prominent example — haven't been around long enough to establish deep roots.
At the same time, political people in Texas saw something in June, when social media kicked liberals and progressives into a gear they hadn’t tried in several years. Democrats are hoping they can keep that going throughout a campaign next year.
"I am very supportive of the Democratic Party and of my friend, Wendy, but if I put my name in, it’s not just because I want to help out the team," Van de Putte said. "If I put my name on the ballot, I would only do that if I was convinced that there is a way to win. It’s just not in my nature to do something just to place or show."
She said a competitive Republican primary might force those contestants to what she called "the very extreme right," and that could, in turn, create an opening for a moderate Democrat to appeal to independents and moderate Republicans who generally vote for Republican candidates.
That's her version, by the way; Republicans are already calling her a "liberal Democrat," giving her a little warning of what would be ahead in a general election fight.
Van de Putte is also thinking hard about what a run might mean for her family, which has had a remarkably rough year. An infant grandson died unexpectedly in May. Her father died in an automobile accident in June. Her mother-in-law died last week. Her mother was in a hospital bed as Van de Putte fielded calls last week on her future political plans.
How would she decide today?
"I would probably say my family has been through way too much in too short a time," Van de Putte said. "We’re going to take a week or so and really look at it. It’s got to be doable, and it’s got to be a commitment from my family."
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://www.texastribune.org/2013/09/23/it-takes-more-one-candidate-make-ticket/.