Tablet Local

Van de Putte, supporters bond at Fort Worth barbecue

Leticia Van de Putte wanted to meet some of the local people helping with her campaign to become the state’s next lieutenant governor.

So the Democratic state senator recently picked up the phone and asked state Rep.-elect Ramon Romero, D-Fort Worth, if he was serious about an offer he made to host a get-together for her.

One yes and three days later, he was hosting a barbecue in the back yard of his Fort Worth home — complete with about 300 guests, 120 pounds of fajita meat and enough mariachi and folk music to stretch late into the night.

“It was just a beautiful event,” Romero said. “Leticia just wanted to get to know all the active campaigners within Fort Worth.

Among those who attended the crowded cookout were Justice of the Peace Sergio de Leon, Tarrant County Democratic Party Chair Deborah Peoples, Democratic nominee for the 12th Congressional District Mark Greene and Tarrant County Commissioner Roy Brooks.

Van de Putte faces Republican nominee and fellow state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, in the race for the No. 2 job in Texas. Libertarian Robert D. Butler and Green Party candidate Chandrakantha Courtney are also on the ballot.

On the mend

Republican U.S. Reps. Ralph Hall of Rockwall and Joe Barton of Ennis had some health setbacks in the last few weeks but both are doing much better.

Hall, 91, broke his hip in an automobile accident Oct. 4 in Fannin County. And Barton had gallbladder surgery Sept. 23.

Hall, who is the oldest member of the U.S. House ever and is retiring this year after being defeated in a primary runoff, was a passenger in a car that was hit by another car. He was airlifted to Plano where he had surgery to repair damage to his hip. According to reports, the lawmaker, famous for his quips and dry sense of humor, was joking with the first responders and is expected to make a full recovery.

Hall was first elected to Congress in 1980.

Meanwhile, Barton, who was elected in 1984 but is a youthful 65, had his gallbladder removed last month but is back to his regular schedule, including campaigning, said spokesman Sean Brown.

Barton was at an Oct. 10 congressional hearing at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport called by House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mike McCaul, R-Austin, to examine government coordination on fighting the Ebola virus.

‘Back to work’

In a touching moment recently, President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, walked house-to-house to hand a Bible to each soon-to-be homeowners at the Trinity Habitat for Humanity Carter Work Project in east Fort Worth.

The Bibles were signed by the couple, who have led Habitat for Humanity projects for years in the U.S. and around the world. President Carter wished the homeowners happy lives in their new homes.

In one case, he asked the couple where they were from. “The Congo,” they said, to which Carter responded that their new neighbors were from the Congo as well. The Carters posed for a picture with the work crews at each of the houses. When the pictures were done, he turned and said, “Back to work.”

Trinity Habitat teamed with the Dallas Chapter in the build. Twenty homes are under construction in Fort Worth and 30 in Dallas. The Carters worked in Fort Worth two days and in Dallas the rest of the week.

Staff writer Sandra Baker contributed to this report.