Following a punishing loss to Republican State Sen. Dan Patrick in the race for Lieutenant Governor, Leticia Van de Putte appears ready to run again - but not for her seat in the Senate.
The third generation San Antonian is ending speculation about her future by announcing her plans to campaign for the seat recently held by Housing and Urban Development secretary Julian Castro: Mayor of San Antonio. Van de Putte says that the support she received from her hometown was what influenced her to run.
"It was the overwhelming outpouring and support and asking of community leaders, of elected officials, of business leaders, of current and former council members and mayors that asked me to continue my public service, but to do so as mayor of San Antonio," Van de Putte tells Texas Standard.
Though some Texas Democrats might fear they are losing a leader in the Senate with her exit, Van de Putte is looking ahead for a new opportunity.
"I'm not running from the Senate," Van de Putte says. "I'm running for mayor of San Antonio, and I am leaving the Senate with a great admiration for the body of the Senate and the Texas Legislature."
While Van de Putte expresses admiration for Castro and other former mayors of the city, she vowed to make unity the hallmark of her campaign.
"I bring a type of leadership that is cooperative, that is inclusive, that is very respectful and that is laser-focused on outcomes," Van de Putte says. "My forte in the legislature hasn't been because I'm the smartest girl in the room, but it's because I work at bringing people together."
Texas Standard intern Trace Levos also contributed to this piece.