After months of speculation about her political aspirations, San Antonio Democratic state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte said today she has decided not to run for governor in 2010.
Van de Putte's name has been bandied about as a potential candidate since she took a leading statewide role in the Obama campaign in 2008, even speaking at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.
But Van de Putte said she declined to put her family through the "scorched earth 'say anything to win' vicious attacks" that would come from a Republican campaign from Gov. Rick Perry or Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.
She apparently wouldn't mind, though, if her Democratic colleague state Sen. Kirk Watson, of Austin, put his family through that.
Van de Putte called Watson a "bipartisan pragmatic leader" and said Democrats should look for someone like him to lead the statewide ticket.
Here's the full text of Van de Putte's statement:
Senator Van de Putte authorized the release of this statement today, regarding her plans for the 2010 elections:
“Five months of speculation regarding the possibility of me running for Governor has, quite frankly, been surprising. It started with nothing more than me not immediately saying ‘no,’ unlike in past election cycles, when asked if I would consider such a run. The reactions of thousands of Texans who encouraged me to give it serious consideration has been flattering.
“I have, indeed, given it very serious thought, and while I would love to believe, tongue firmly planted in cheek, that this pent-up desire on the part of so many Texans for me to run for governor is solely because of some perceived superior leadership ability and vast intellect of mine, I have to reluctantly admit that it’s not as much about me as it is about Republican failures.
is about Texas’ stunning lack of current leadership. Large and growing
numbers feel betrayed by the Republicans they voted into statewide office, and
who can blame them? While Texas families remain concerned about genuine
priority issues, Republicans led by Rick Perry continue to instead obsess about
hyper-partisan issues, in order to grab more power for themselves.
“Texans still pay the highest homeowners insurance premiums in the country. Texas still has the highest percentage in the country of those without access to health care. Texas still has the second highest rate of teen pregnancy in the nation, and the highest rate of teens with a second pregnancy. And after years of Republican ‘leadership,’ not only has Rick Perry failed to address these challenges, but he and his minions have done everything they can to avoid addressing them in any meaningful way. Rick Perry, Kay Bailey Hutchison, and others in the Republican leadership have turned their backs on 25 million Texans, instead opting to curry favor with a handful of fringe Republican primary voters.
“If I believed for a second that it would result in a healthy debate of the issues of most importance to Texas families, I would today be announcing my candidacy for Governor of Texas. But we have all watched over the years as Perry, Hutchison, and other Republican politicians have launched their scorched earth ‘say anything to win’ vicious attacks against political opponents. To mask their utter lack of leadership, they’ll do so again, and I decline to put my family through it. That I am a Latina would only serve to amplify their attacks.
“I will gladly work hard to ensure that a Democrat prevails in the election for Governor, so that Texas families can have a better shot at having a state government focused on the needs of Texans, instead of state Republican leadership obsessed with their own political futures, at Texans’ expense.
Democrats must put personal ambitions aside and very pragmatically nominate the
person best equipped to win in November. Just because one can win the
Democratic nomination for Governor doesn’t mean one should, unless
he or she is best positioned to defeat the Republican nominee in the fall.
“That’s why I think Senator Kirk Watson should raise his sights and run for Governor. I’ve watched as Senator Watson has emerged as a leader in the state Senate on the issues of most importance to Texans. While staying true to Democratic values, he is a bipartisan pragmatic leader solidly focused on addressing the priorities of all Texans. I intend to lobby Senator Watson to run for governor, and I’ll wholeheartedly support him if he does. But if he declines, Democrats should recruit and support someone who, like Watson, is energetic, pragmatic, focused, and smart; and who can fully energize Democratic supporters while also attracting a broad range of independent voters in every region of the state.
“The Republicans have had their day, and Texans have realized that the Republicans can’t lead. I will be working hard to elect a Democrat to the Governor’s office.”