Democratic candidate for Texas Governor, Wendy Davis, was once seen as the woman to lead the charge to turn Texas blue. After weeks of bad polling and bad news stories though the focus of the media may be starting to turn to a different candidate on the Democrats ballots.
CNN on Wednesday did a feature on Democratic candidate for Texas Lieutenant Governor Leticia Van de Putte. CNN featured Van de Putte as the “woman who could turn Texas purple” in the upcoming election. In the piece, Van de Putte is described as a “power broker” who led Senate Democrats in a “dramatic” 45-day walkout over redistricting in 2003.
CNN went on to tell the political history of Van de Putte including the night of the 11-hour filibuster by Wendy Davis. That day Van de Putte was at the funeral of her father but returned that night to join in on the filibuster.
Van de Putte will face either current Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, or Texas Senator Dan Patrick in the general election. Past polling has shown that Dewhurst and Patrick have a comfortable lead over Van de Putte. Fundraising will be another issue as CNN points out in their story. While Wendy Davis raised over $12 million for her campaign by January, Van de Putte could only raise about $290,000.
Texas Democrats are hoping that Van de Putte will energize Hispanic voter turnout, but Call Jillison of Southern Methodist University told CNN that the Democratic ticket will likely fail because of Wendy Davis.
“I suspect that the Democratic ticket will rise or fall — most likely fall — with Davis,” he said. “Van de Putte could help Davis with Hispanics, but is unlikely to win if Davis loses.”
While Jillison seems to think that Wendy Davis could bring down the Democratic ticket in Texas, many will be watching to see where Van de Putte lands. Republican Strategist Matt Mackowiak told KFYO-AM earlier in April that while both Davis and Van de Putte will lose, he believed that Van de Putte could lose by a smaller margin that Davis.
While the Davis campaign continues to falter the spotlight could be on Leticia Van de Putte in Texas. While the chances of Van de Putte winning are small her campaign could become the new face of the attempted Democratic resurgence in Texas.
Chad Hasty is the host of the Chad Hasty Show on KFYO-AM Lubbock. Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadyHastyRadio