Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Latest News

January 1, 2014

Two-woman ticket in Texas goes for history in 2014

— AUSTIN — Forget whether Hillary Clinton could win the White House in 2016. Women still have yet to run many statehouses, but in 2014 two Texas Democrats are going for a new kind of history: Winning as an all-female ticket.

Woven into one of the the nation's most intriguing gubernatorial races this year is whether Democrat Wendy Davis, whose 11-hour filibuster over abortion restrictions catapulted the state senator to national fame this summer, can not only overcome long odds in a fiercely Republican state but pull off a political first.

If Davis and fellow state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, who is running for lieutenant governor, prevail in their March primaries as expected, they'll form what political experts say is only the fifth time in at least the past 20 years that a party has nominated two women for a state's top offices.

None of these pairings has ever won — nor have a woman governor and lieutenant governor ever served concurrently. The last two-woman ticket to try was steamrolled in November by New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie on his easy path to re-election.

That pair came away some advice for their Texas cohorts.

"Expect to be marginalized. Just be ready for it," said New Jersey Democratic state Sen. Barbara Buono, who lost to Christie by 22 points.

Not all nominees run as "tickets" in the traditional sense. Texas is among the states that elect a governor and lieutenant governor separately, meaning that Davis and Van de Putte don't come as a package even though they'll overlap in message.

That message hasn't focused on gender. Davis talks about education and weeding out cronyism while trying to forge a broader identity among voters who might only know her from her stand in pink running shoes on the Texas Senate floor for reproductive rights.

But Davis and Van de Putte, who's Hispanic, can't escape their obvious contrast to Republicans, whose entire statewide ticket in Texas this year is shaping up to be almost exclusively white and male.

"Diversity in government, I think, is incredibly important," Davis said. "Bringing a variety of perspectives to the leadership table creates better government."

Yet Republican can argue they're doing the better job of putting women in governor's mansions right now. The GOP has four nationwide to the one held by Democrats. But the party has recently acknowledged it could do better with women voters, including U.S. House Speaker John Boehner saying in December that some members of his caucus could stand to be more "sensitive" at times.

Unlike New Jersey, Davis and Van de Putte aren't challenging a popular incumbent-turned-potential presidential candidate. Texas Gov. Rick Perry is stepping aside after 14 years and giving Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott, the presumptive Republican nominee, the task of preserving two decades of statewide GOP rule.

That relegates Davis and Van de Putte to the status of most female tickets before them: underdogs, despite Texas having a stronger history than many states of electing powerful women leaders.

Former South Carolina GOP chairwoman Karen Floyd, who helmed the state party when Nikki Haley became South Carolina's first female governor in 2011, hosted a summit in August to brainstorm how Republicans can elect more women.

The problem, she said, isn't message but getting more women to run.

"The Democratic Party has a better track record. They've been doing it longer," Floyd said. "I think you'll see more Republican woman offer up. It'll be a cascading effect."

The closest two women have come to sweeping a state's top two offices was 2004 in Missouri, when now-U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat, and the party's female nominee for lieutenant governor narrowly lost.

Female Democratic candidates tend to amplify the gender gap in elections, said Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. She said the other recent all-female tickets were a pair of Illinois Democrats in 1994 and a pair of Kentucky Republicans in 1999.

Buono doesn't believe being a woman was the deciding factor in the New Jersey gubernatorial race, but said they faced misogynistic and belittling remarks in a state where none of its 12 congressional members are women. One GOP county chairman compared Buono choosing Milly Silva, a labor leader who previously never ran for statewide office, as her running mate to picking his secretary.

Van de Putte recalled feeling marginalized in the Texas Senate in June when, as Republicans began stopping Davis' filibuster, she took the microphone and asked: "At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over the male colleagues in the room?"

Van de Putte, who will face one of the four men vying for the Republican nomination, acknowledged it's unusual to try winning with two women.

"But, you know, maybe it shouldn't be," Van de Putte said. "We just happen to be two gals. That's the way it ended up."

___

Follow Paul J. Weber: www.twitter.com/pauljweber

 

1
Text Only
Latest News
  • 4-24-14 Peaches.jpg Peach crops largely unhurt by late freeze

    COLLEGE STATION – There were varied reports of damage to wheat, forages and fruit and nut crops from the hard freeze on April 15 from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service personnel throughout the Central, Rolling Plains, South Plains and Panhandle regions.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-23-14 DerrickDays.jpg Derrick Days: Downtown Chowdown

    Derrick Days is ready to go, with events escalating everyday until the big Saturday celebration, with dozens of activities that day alone.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-23-14 TownHall.jpg Navarro College Town Hall shares updates

    Reaching out to the community, inviting the civic groups to the campus, and doing a better job of sharing the story of Navarro College were some of the ideas brought up at a college Town Hall event held Monday.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • CISD board hears facilities study results

    The long-awaited CISD facilities report from the Texas Association of School Boards was delivered, at least in a short form, Monday at the Corsicana board of trustees meeting.

    April 22, 2014

  • Train accident victim identified

    A 61-year-old Corsicana man was taken to Parkland Hospital Monday night after he was struck by a train as he tried to cross a railroad track on foot.

    April 22, 2014

  • Report: West plant explosion preventable

    The fertilizer plant explosion that killed 15 people last year in a tiny Texas town could have been prevented, even if it's still not clear what started an initial fire that triggered the blast, federal officials said Tuesday.

    April 22, 2014

  • Local Beat for 4/23/14

    A listing of meetings and events of interest from throughout Navarro County

    April 22, 2014

  • DPS urges online driver's license renewal

    Renewing a Texas driver's license doesn't necessarily mean waiting in long lines or prepping your best photo ID look for the camera. The Department of Public Safety on Tuesday urged residents to renew online and beat the typical summer rush at driver's license offices.

    April 22, 2014

  • Agency report on West blast to be released

    It has been a year since a fire caused a huge explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant that killed 15 people, yet companies in the state can still store hazardous chemicals in flammable wooden containers in buildings without sprinklers and volunteer firefighters like those who rushed into that plant still aren't required to train how to fight such fires.

    April 22, 2014

  • 4-22-14 Aldis.jpg ALDI gets set for May 1 opening

    The much anticipated opening of a new ALDI Grocery store in Corsicana is just two weeks away.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Twitter Updates