Interview with Linda Chavez-Thompson

Linda Chavez-Thompson

Next up is Linda Chavez-Thompson, the dynamic Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor. Let me quote from her official bio, for those of you who have not heard her story:

Linda Chavez-Thompson knows the meaning of sacrifice and the importance of family. Born in Lorenzo, Texas, the third of eight children in a migrant family, Linda had to drop out of school after the ninth grade to work with her parents in the cotton fields to help provide for the family.

Leaving school was a difficult decision for Linda, who never lost her thirst for knowledge and interest in civic involvement. Teaching herself to read and write Spanish, she secured herself a job as bilingual secretary for the Construction Laborers’ Union in Lubbock. After moving to San Antonio, she worked her way up the ranks of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, eventually rising to the position of Texas State Director. In an election by her peers from across the country, Chavez-Thompson was chosen to serve as the Executive Vice President of the national AFL-CIO — the first woman and the first person of color to hold that position.

A nationally recognized speaker, Chavez-Thompson has traveled the globe sharing her ideas on the importance of everyday workers to our economic success. What was once a controversial approach, Chavez-Thompson’s views today are considered conventional wisdom — that when workers are able to provide for and look after their families, they become more productive economic contributors and all Americans benefit. In her personal life, Chavez Thompson is a reflection of the power of the American Dream — rising from the cotton fields of West Texas, to a career as a national labor leader and raising two children who now have families of their own.

Here’s the interview:

Download the MP3 file

I have interviewed Chavez-Thompson before, on the subject of Arizona’s unconstitutional anti-immigration law. You can also see her talk with the Texas Tribune, but you can’t see her debate two-term incumbent Lite Guv David Dewhurst, because like nearly all of his statewide colleagues, he wasn’t interested in engaging in any debates.

You can find a list of all interviews for this cycle on the 2010 Elections page.

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13 Responses to Interview with Linda Chavez-Thompson

  1. John says:

    No doubt a great personal story but a comments

    1) yes due to her family circumstances she had to drop out of school, but in 2010 do the Dems want to nominate a dropout and celebrate that given how abysmal our schools are doing. Aren’t you just condoning that to all of the HISD dropout kids?

    2) since when has Texas been such a union loving state (other than Police and Fire)?

    I think the Dems lose every statewide office again and White won’t be within 10 points of Perry. They could not even get one warm body to run for Comptroller.

  2. Brad M says:

    blah, blah, blah. Thanks for your insightful comment John.

  3. JJ says:

    Dynamic or not, she’s going to get drowned in the tidal wave of Republican party lever voters in November. And so will all of the marginal Democrats who won by narrow margins riding the coattails of “Hope & Change”. And many County officeholders the same.

  4. John says:

    Great response Brad, but if they are not valid questions please tell me why not. I am not voting for Perry but I just don’t understand why Dems giving money to the National Party when

    1) none of it is spent/recylced here

    2) focus on trying to build/support the next generation of Dems so in either 2014 or 2018 the Dems will be able to field a full slate of candidates and one or two that might have a chance of winning.

  5. Brad M. says:


    Maybe its semantics, but although the story says she “dropped out of school”, she wasn’t really a “dropout” which in my mind is a bit of a derogatory label. I.e. she was lazy and just didn’t like school so she left. In her instance there were legitimate familial needs. I dont’ see any “celebration of dropouts” by her nomination or any connection with the quality of schools today.

    Conspiracy theory: Dems didnt’ nominate for Comptroller to allow the Libertarians to garner enough % of the vote in a statewide office to allow them to keep their ballot line for near-term future elections. As Dems continue to get closer to Reps a “Libertarian Effect” will come into play in some races.

    I agree with you. The National Dems are using Texas as a bank account for withdrawls only. No deposits. Right now I think that is a function of the relative lack of competitive races here in TX to invest in when they are trying to hold on to the House. With demographics in TX changing that’ll change in a few election cycles. You’re probably right on 2018, but of course that is always dependent on presidential election years. Who will be at the head of the Dem ticket then?

    I think White loses by 5-6pts which is a huge achievement in this state of slack jawed straight party voters.

  6. Conspiracy theory: Dems didnt’ nominate for Comptroller to allow the Libertarians to garner enough % of the vote in a statewide office to allow them to keep their ballot line for near-term future elections. As Dems continue to get closer to Reps a “Libertarian Effect” will come into play in some races.

    Actually, the likely effect of this is that the Green candidate for Comptroller will get 5%+, thus allowing that party to be on the ballot for the next elections. Libertarians have not had any difficulty with getting on the ballot and didn’t need the help. If there was a conspiracy here, it was a dumb one.

  7. Brad M. says:


    Your timing is a little off. The Dems didn’t want to (wink, wink) or are so ineffective they couldn’t get a fencepost to stand for Comptroller. Dem candidates for this office would’ve had to be declared Jan 1. The Greens didnt’ turn in their petition until many months later starting the whole Republican conspiracy kerfuffle (so said the Democrats). Lots of conspiracies around aren’t there? So the Dems are probably thinking what knuckleheads they were to have an open statewide race that now will have the effect of allowing the Greens to have ballot accessed candidates in 2012. I wonder if the Dems will make that same mistake in 2012?

    In which statewide race (not Comptroller’s race) will the Libertarians “not have any difficulty” getting 5% that also has a Dem candidate in the race to keep the Libs on for another 2 years? Or do you think enough Reps will stay away from Perry and not vote for White, but instead vote for Glass and she gets 2% for a 4 year hall pass for the Libs?

    Possibly the presence of a Green on the line for Comptroller allows Dems to vote for a like minded candidate (Green) instead of Lib and the Lib Party misses its 5%. So in a way the Green’s hurt the Dems even more by denying the Lib’s their ballot access line. Double whammy.

  8. Brad M. says:

    Well, I forgot about the statewide Criminal Court of Appeals Judgeships where there are no Dems running, I think in two of those races.

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  10. Jim Fung says:

    John, Linda Chavez-Thompson has made education, and keeping kids in school and going to college, practically the centerpiece of her campaign, *because* she had to drop out and knows how much of a struggle it was. It’s the direct opposite message from the one you’re suggesting.

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