Leticia Van de Putte

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Leticia R. Van de Putte
Texas State Senator Leticia Van de Putte.jpg
Member of the Texas Senate
from the 26th district
In office
November 10, 1999 – January 8, 2013
Preceded by Gregory Luna
Succeeded by Jose Menendez
Member of the Texas House of Representatives from District 115
In office
January 8, 1991 – November 9, 1999
Preceded by Orlando Luis Garcia
Succeeded by Mike Villarreal
Personal details
Born Leticia R. San Miguel
(1954-12-06) December 6, 1954 (age 62)
Tacoma, Washington, U.S.
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Pete Van de Putte
Children Six children
Residence San Antonio, Texas
Alma mater University of Texas, Austin, Harvard University
Profession Pharmacist
Religion Roman Catholic
Website leticiaformayor.com

Leticia R. San Miguel Van de Putte[1] (born December 6, 1954)[2] is an American politician from San Antonio, Texas. She represented the 26th District in the Texas Senate from 1999-2015. From 1991 to 1999, Van de Putte was a member of the Texas House of Representatives. In 2014, she was the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor but lost the general election, 58-38 percent, to her Republican senatorial colleague, Dan Patrick of Houston.[3]

Early life[edit]

Van de Putte was born in Tacoma, Washington, the oldest of five children of Daniel and Isabel San Miguel, a sixth-generation Tejano family. Her father was stationed at Fort Lewis when she was born.[4] The family returned to San Antonio, where she was subsequently reared. Van de Putte has six children and six grandchildren with her husband, Pete.

Education and career as pharmacist[edit]

Van de Putte is a 1973 graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School in San Antonio.[4] She was accepted to the University of Houston pharmacy program, following in the footsteps of her grandfather, who was a practicing pharmacist. After meeting her husband and getting married while in pharmacy school, she transferred to the University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy, from which she graduated in 1979.

Upon graduation, she worked for her grandfather's pharmacy before buying her own business in the Loma Park area of San Antonio. She currently works part-time at the Davila Pharmacy on San Antonio’s West Side.[5]

Van de Putte became a Kellogg Fellow at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1993.

Political career[edit]

Texas House of Representatives[edit]

Van de Putte began her legislative career with her 1990 election to the Texas House of Representatives (District 115).

Texas Senate[edit]

Van de Putte represented Texas Senate District 26, which consists of a large portion of San Antonio and Bexar County, from 1999-2015. She has represented the district ever since she won a special election to the Senate in 1999. In 2003, she was appointed Chair of the Texas Senate Democratic Caucus, a position she held until 2011. Van de Putte was appointed chair of the Veteran Affairs and Military Installations Committee in 2003,[6] and was a member of the Senate Committees on Education, State Affairs, and Business and Commerce. She was also co-chair of the Joint Committee on Human Trafficking.[7]

She considered running in the 2010 race for governor against Republican Rick Perry, but instead decided to run for re-election in the Texas Senate in June 2009.[8]

On June 25, 2013, Wendy Davis gave an 11-hour filibuster in an attempt to run out a special legislative session so that a vote could not be held on Texas Senate Bill 5. At about 15 minutes to midnight, Van de Putte confronted the Presiding Officer, State Senator Robert L. Duncan, a Republican from Lubbock, who she said had ignored her repeated motions earlier. Van de Putte asked him, "at what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over the male colleagues in the room?"[9] Her question was immediately met with cheers and applause by the spectators in the gallery. The applause delayed the legislative session past the midnight deadline, effectively ending the legislative session without a vote on the bill. This bill was ultimately passed in a special session ordered by then Governor Rick Perry.[10][11]

On January 8, 2013, Van de Putte was elected President Pro Tempore of the Texas Senate's 83rd Regular Session.

Coinciding with her announcement to run for Mayor of San Antonio, Van de Putte resigned from the Senate once her successor Jose Menendez was elected, ending nearly 24 years of work at the Texas Capitol.[12]

National politics[edit]

Van de Putte speaks during a press conference before the start of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, flanked by her fellow co-chairs and the convention chair.

At the national level, Van de Putte is an active and deeply involved member of many political organizations, including the National Assessment Governing Board, the American Legacy Foundation Board, and the National Conference of State Legislatures, of which she served as president from 2006 to 2007. In addition, she led the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators as president from 2003 to 2005.

In 2008, Van de Putte served as a co-chair of the 2008 Democratic National Convention along with Governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas and Atlanta, Georgia Mayor Shirley Franklin, while Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi served as permanent chair.[13]

In 2016, Van de Putte was selected as the chair of the 2016 Democratic National Convention rules committee.[14] She has endorsed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.[15]

2014 lieutenant governor campaign[edit]

In November 2013, Van de Putte announced that she would be running for lieutenant governor in the 2014 elections.[16]

She ran unopposed in the Democratic primary but lost to Republican Dan Patrick in the general election.[3]

2015 mayoral campaign[edit]

On November 19, 2014, Van de Putte announced her candidacy for Mayor of San Antonio in the 2015 mayoral election.[12] After finishing first with 30% of the vote in the general election, Van de Putte qualified for the runoff election on June 13, 2015.[17] Despite running a hard campaign, Van de Putte lost the runoff election 52-48 percent to Ivy Taylor.[17]

Election history[edit]

Uncontested primary elections are not shown.


San Antonio Mayor, 2015
Regular election, May 9, 2015[18]
Candidate Votes % ±
Leticia Van de Putte 25,982 30.43%
Ivy Taylor 24,245 28.40%
Mike Villarreal 22,246 26.06%
Tommy Adkisson 8,344 9.77%
Paul Martinez 1,877 2.20%
Cynthia Brehm 1,497 1.75%
Douglas Emmett 221 0.26%
Michael "Commander" Idrogo 221 0.26%
Cynthia Cavazos 201 0.24%
Raymond Zavala 196 0.23%
Rhett Smith 111 0.13%
Julie Iris Oldham (Mama Bexar) 103 0.12%
Gerard Ponce 97 0.11%
Pogo Mochello Reese 29 0.03%
Turnout 85,370 11.89%*

* Vote percentage include all of Bexar County with a total of 12,316 either voting in another municipal election or casting no ballot for San Antonio mayor.

San Antonio Mayor, 2015
Runoff election, June 13, 2015[19]
Candidate Votes % ±
Ivy Taylor 50,659 51.70%
Leticia Van de Putte 47,328 48.30%
Turnout 97,987 14.12%


Texas lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2014[20]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Dan Patrick 2,718,406 58.13
Democratic Leticia Van de Putte 1,810,720 38.72
Libertarian Robert Butler 119,581 2.55
Green Chandra Courtney 27,651 0.59
Majority 907,686 19.41%
Total votes 4,676,358 100
Voter turnout 33.34%
Republican hold


Texas general election, 2012: Senate District 26[21]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Green Chris Christal 10,557 6.03 +6.03
Democratic Leticia R. Van de Putte (Incumbent) 140,757 80.42 -1.02
Libertarian Nazirite R. Flores Perez 22,904 13.08 -5.47
Independent Deborah L. Parrish 801 0.45 +0.45
Turnout 175,019 +4.11
Democratic hold


Texas general election, 2008: Senate District 26[22]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Leticia R. Van de Putte (Incumbent) 136,913 81.44 +24.34
Libertarian Steve Lopez 31,194 18.55 +15.69
Majority 105,719 62.89 +45.83
Turnout 168,107 -9.13
Democratic hold


Texas general election, 2004: Senate District 26[23]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Jim Valdez 74,070 40.04 +40.04
Democratic Leticia R. Van de Putte (Incumbent) 105,625 57.10 -42.90
Libertarian Raymundo Alemán 5,295 2.86 +2.86
Majority 31,555 17.06 -82.94
Turnout 184,990 +149.44
Democratic hold
Democratic primary, 2004: Senate District 26[24]
Candidate Votes % ±
Johnny Rodriguez 3,685 18.06
Leticia R. Van de Putte (Incumbent) 16,723 81.94
Majority 13,038 63.89
Turnout 20,408


Texas general election, 2002: Senate District 26[25]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Leticia R. Van de Putte (Incumbent) 74,163 100.00 0.00
Majority 74,163 100.00 0.00
Turnout 74,163 -29.88
Democratic hold


Texas general election, 2000: Senate District 26[26]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Leticia R. Van de Putte (Incumbent) 105,771 100.00 +32.46
Majority 105,771 100.00 +64.92
Turnout 105,771 -16.86
Democratic hold
Democratic primary, 2000: Senate District 26[27]
Candidate Votes % ±
David McQuade Leibowitz 11,232 45.63
Leticia R. Van de Putte (Incumbent) 13,381 54.37
Majority 2,149 8.73
Turnout 24,613


Special election: Senate District 26, Unexpired term[28]
2 November 1999
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Leo Alvarado, Jr.[29] 12,473 21.02
Democratic Lauro Bustamante, Jr. 4,245 7.16
Republican Anne Newman 6,768 11.41
Democratic Leticia Van de Putte[29] 27,139 45.74
Republican Mark Weber 8,702 14.67
Turnout 59,327
Democratic hold


  1. ^ Texas Department of State Health Services, Vital Records (1977-10-23). "Marriage record No. 117996 (Henry P. Van de Putte to Leticia San Miguel)". Rootsweb.com. Archived from the original (Third party index of marriage records for Bexar County, Texas) on 26 May 2005. Retrieved 2007-01-05.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  2. ^ Office of the Secretary of State (Texas) (2002-09-13). "State Senate Candidates for 2002 General Election". Retrieved 2006-12-27. 
  3. ^ a b "Office of the Secretary of State 2014 General Election Election Night Returns". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved February 18, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Tressler, Sarah (January 1, 2014). "A brief history of Leticia Van De Putte". San Antonio express-news. 
  5. ^ "Pharmacists in politics". American Pharmacists Association. 2012-09-01. Retrieved 2014-01-18. 
  6. ^ "State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte". The Texas Tribune. 
  7. ^ "Leticia Van de Putte papers". Texas Archival Resources Online. 
  8. ^ "Sen. Van de Putte said she wouldn't run for governor but Sen. Watson should.". El Paso Times. 2009-06-23. Retrieved 2014-01-18. 
  9. ^ Reilly, Mollie (June 26, 2013). "Leticia Van De Putte, Texas Legislator, Slams Male Colleagues During Abortion Filibuster". Huffington Post. 
  10. ^ Martinez, Fidel. "A GIF tribute to Leticia Van de Putte's badass mic drop". The Daily Dot. Retrieved 26 February 2015. 
  11. ^ Teitelbaum, Ben. "5 Moment From Wendy Davis's Epic Filibuster". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 26 February 2015. 
  12. ^ a b "Van de Putte Resigning to Run for San Antonio Mayor". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved February 18, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Democrats Announce 2008 Convention Chairs". Democratic National Committee. July 2, 2008. Retrieved 2014-01-18. 
  14. ^ "Van de Putte gets high-profile role at Dem convention". San Antonio Express-News. March 23, 2016. Retrieved 2016-03-24. 
  15. ^ "San Antonio Rally Key to Clinton's National Strategy". The Texas Tribune. October 12, 2015. Retrieved 2016-03-24. 
  16. ^ Kilday Hart, Patricia (2013-11-13). "Sources: Van de Putte will run for lite guv, announcement tomorrow". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2014-01-18. 
  17. ^ a b http://home.bexar.org/el45a.htm
  18. ^ "San Antonio Mayor". Kens 5. Retrieved June 15, 2015. 
  19. ^ "Taylor Becomes San Antonio's First Elected Black Mayor". Rivard Report. Retrieved June 14, 2015. 
  20. ^ "Office of the Secretary of State 2014 General Election Election Night Returns". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved November 30, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Office of the Secretary of State: 1992 – Current ELECTION HISTORY". Retrieved 2012-12-16. 
  22. ^ "2008 General Election". Office of the Secretary of State (Texas). Retrieved 2012-09-12. 
  23. ^ "2004 General Election". Office of the Secretary of State (Texas). Retrieved 2007-01-05. 
  24. ^ "2004 Democratic Party Primary Election". Office of the Secretary of State (Texas). Retrieved 2007-01-05. 
  25. ^ "2002 General Election". Office of the Secretary of State (Texas). Retrieved 2007-01-05. 
  26. ^ "2000 General Election". Office of the Secretary of State (Texas). Retrieved 2007-01-05. 
  27. ^ "2000 Democratic Party Primary Election". Office of the Secretary of State (Texas). Retrieved 2007-01-05. 
  28. ^ "1999 Special Election for State Senate". Office of the Secretary of State (Texas). Retrieved 2007-01-05. 
  29. ^ a b Houston Chronicle News Services (1999-11-12). "New senator takes oath". Houston Chronicle. p. A39. Retrieved 2007-01-05. Van de Putte, a Democrat, assumed the Senate seat after receiving the most votes in a special election Nov. 2. She was to be in a runoff with state Rep. Leo Alvarado, but he withdrew. 

External links[edit]

Texas House of Representatives
Preceded by
Orlando Luis Garcia
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from District 115 (San Antonio)

Succeeded by
Mike Villarreal
Texas Senate
Preceded by
Gregory Luna
Member of the Texas Senate
from the 26th district

Succeeded by
Jose Menendez