As her Republican counterparts continue to campaign against one another in a runoff, Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Leticia Van De Putte is taking her show on the road, hitting 16 stops across Texas during a nine-day bus tour.
Van De Putte said she is hoping this jump on the general election will boost her campaign while incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and state Sen. Dan Patrick of Houston battle for the Republican spot on the ballot.
"I’ve been watching the Republican lieutenant governor race and it’s now gone into overtime," Van De Putte said. "And it’s pretty clear [that] while they are shooting at each other they fail to listen to the voices of working parents.”
Van De Putte said she is focusing on engaging mainstream Texans -- that group that sometime votes Republican and sometimes votes Democrat in general elections.
Steve Munisteri, the chairman of the Texas Republican Party, said he doesn’t see her head start on the campaign trail as a threat to the eventual Republican nominee.
"Right now it doesn’t compare to the number of cities that Lt. Gov. Dewhurst and Sen. Patrick have already visited over the last few months, so she’s starting way, way behind," Munisteri said. "The other thing is the focus is still going to be on the runoff, so the bus tour is going to be undermined.”
Munisteri said it’s possible that divisive runoff election could negatively impact the party as a whole, but said he’s optimistic the supporters of the losing candidate will fall in line with whoever wins the runoff.