After Statewide Campaign, Leticia for SA Mayor?

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Sen. Leticia Van de Putte begins her shift at Davila Pharmacy off Guadaluipe Street Tuesday. - ALEXA GARCIA-DITTA
  • Alexa Garcia-Ditta
  • Sen. Leticia Van de Putte begins her shift at Davila Pharmacy off Guadaluipe Street Tuesday.

Arriving at Davila Pharmacy on the Westside for her first shift since Election Day, Sen. Leticia Van de Putte immediately picks up where she left off after her year-long campaign for lieutenant governor, which she lost last week to Republican Dan Patrick. She greets her fellow pharmacists and techs with hugs and kisses, dons her white coat and thick-rimmed glasses and gets back to work.

"This is my wheelhouse," the San Antonio Democrat said. "Talking to patients, being behind the prescription counter."

Over the weekend, Van de Putte acknowledged the rumors that she is considering a run for mayor of San Antonio, a race that so far has only official candidate, now-former State Rep. Mike Villarreal. For months, Villarreal, who formally resigned from his long-held seat in the Texas House last week, has been the only contender, as others interested in the position made it clear they weren't making anything official until after Election Day, or have been mum on their intentions. Rumored candidates include Mayor Ivy Taylor, former Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Adkisson and now Van de Putte.

"Recently, many business and community leaders have asked me to play a new role in service to San Antonio, as Mayor. I am humbled by their confidence and support," Van de Putte said in a statement released Sunday. "At this time, I am enjoying my family and praying for guidance."

This week, however, the senators says she's focused on her family. She's organizing this weekend's second annual Walk/Run for Rex, honoring her grandson Rex who died last year from sudden infant death syndrome. In the few days after the election, she's been able to do things like laundry, cook and spend time with her loved ones.

"We'll see what happens next week," she said. "I want to serve, I just need to figure out how to serve this community." 

At Davila, the windows and walls still boast her campaign signs. Van de Putte, as she sorts medication and files, takes time to talk to the new faces behind the counter. With the legislative session just eight weeks away, Van de Putte says she has bills ready to go related to veterans and education, but that she's asked her legislative staff to hang tight. Pre-filing began on Monday.

"I have bills ready to be filed, but I've asked my staff to hold off pre-filing until I make this decision," she said.

Van de Putte has two years left in her term as senator. But if she does decide to go for the top city position and her Texas Senate seats comes up for grabs, State Reps. Trey Martinez Fischer and Jose Menendez have already expressed interest in running for it. That would potentially open up two San Antonio seats in the Texas House: Villarreal's and Fischer's or Menendez's. 

Come next week, when Van de Putte is likely to announce her decision, all bets are off, leaving San Antonio politics in for a good ole-fashioned shakeup. 

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