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Democrat Leticia Van de Putte Concedes in Texas Lt. Gov. Race

An underdog from the start, Texas state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte concedes race for lieutenant governor.
Leticia Van de Putte, right, Texas State Senator and candidate for Lieutenant Governor, embraces Mary Patrick, a Travis County Democratic Party volunteer, as she leaves the local party's campaign headquarters on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Tamir Kalifa)Tamir Kalifa / AP

Democratic state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte conceded defeat in her bid for Texas lieutenant governor and to become the first Latina elected to statewide office.

She issued a statement about an hour after polls closed, congratulating the victor Republican Rep. Dan Patrick, a tea party favorite, for "running a disciplined campaign." Patrick jumped out to an early lead of 57 percent to Van de Putte's 40 percent with early votes counted.

She thanked supporters, donors and workers and "mi familia (my family)."

"This campaign and my service have always been about securing the future for the next generation, para mis hijos y nietos (for my children and grandchildren)," Van de Putte said in mix of Spanish and English, a signature of her candidacy.

Van de Putte ran a campaign separate from gubernatorial Democratic candidate Wendy Davis on the Texas ballot. A longtime state senator, her profile was boosted nationally when during Davis' abortion bill filibuster, she grew exasperated and stated: "At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over male colleagues in the room?"

Van de Putte retains her place in the state's Senate, despite her loss.

The campaign was marked by harsh anti-immigrant rhetoric from Patrick who early on referred to immigration as an invasion.