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Leticia Van de Putte on Her Top Texas Priorities

Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT
State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor, sat down with Texas Standard this weekend.

CNN has called her "the woman who could turn Texas purple."

That's a bold claim in a state that hasn't elected a Democrat to statewide office in two decades. But supporters are hoping that Senator Leticia Van de Putte – the Democrat running for Lieutenant Governor –can bring some blue back to red Texas.

Van de Putte sat down with Texas Standard's Emily Donahue to discuss her top priorities for the state.

Interview Highlights

The drilling boom, and its destructive impact on roads:

"All economists are telling us we are in the golden age of oil and gas … And we’re grateful for that. But it has also provided challenges, particularly on the roadways. ... The very communities that are producing this [oil and gas] are being really challenged with a state highway system that hasn't kept up. ... We need to make sure that the very communities that are giving us this great, robust economy that we take care of them."

What needs to happen with school finance:

"Recently, we have had a judge tell us that our school finance system – once again – is inequitable, it's inadequate, and it's inefficient. What that really means is that the judge has said that our school finance system is not enough, not working, and not fair."

"I would absolutely make this priority one: work with our House members, work with the members of the Senate to address: how do we value teachers? What is it that is needed in the classroom so that teachers are successful and making sure that our students get to that high school diploma?"

On the possibility of working with a Republican governor:

"The wonderful part about Texans is that they're willing to roll up their sleeves and work together, and we see the best of this in our local communities. We should see the best of this in your state legislatures."

"I know that a Republican governor and a Democratic lieutenant governor can work together. It did with George Bush and Bob Bullock." 

Emily Donahue is a former grants writer for KUT. She previously served as news director and helped launch KUT’s news department in 2001.
Intern for Texas Standard
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