12/19/2013 04:07 pm ET

Spanish-Speaking Politicians Have Advantage In Texas


When state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, took the stage in November to launch her run for lieutenant governor, she switched gracefully between English and Spanish throughout her announcement speech.

“They’ll say that little ol’ Leticia Rosa San Miguel Van de Putte from the barrio will never become lieutenant governor,” Van de Putte said in English, adding that the GOP can't fight for the Hispanic vote without fighting for Hispanic families. Then she translated the line into Spanish, remarking that it was important enough to say twice.

Of the candidates running for the top two slots on the statewide ticket in 2014, Van de Putte is the only hopeful who is a native Spanish speaker — a trait that gives her and other Spanish-speaking politicians in Texas an advantage with the coveted Hispanic vote, according to political observers.

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