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Taylor, Van De Putte Question Each Other's Ethics At UTSA Debate

Joey Palacios
Texas Public Radio
Leticia Van De Putte (left) and Ivy Taylor await the start of the debate at UTSA's downtown campus.

San Antonio's two mayoral run-off candidates, Leticia Van De Putte and Mayor Ivy Taylor, tried to distinguish themselves before an audience at UTSA last night. The debate produced fireworks when the candidates questioned each other's ethics.   

The topics of the debate hosted by Time Warner Cable News, UTSA, and the Express-News included infrastructure, home appraisals, and why the two changed their minds about running for the mayor’s seat; initially both promised not to run. However the most sparks went off when the candidates asked each other their own questions.

Van De Putte dove into the sensitive subject of Taylor's husband not filing a complaint against a man who shot-out a window of the Taylor’s car; two people were injured in the incident that happened outside the Rodney Taylor’s business.  The Express-News reported that same man was involved in a drive-by shooting that left two people dead two months later on Martin Luther King Day.

“As the duty as the highest elected official in the city, how can the citizens of San Antonio expect you to stand up for the safety of our families when you won’t stand up for the safety of your own family,” Van De Putte asked.

Taylor said the question was inappropriate.

“It is very disappointing that someone of your stature would politicize a tragedy that occurred in our community. It is an example of politics as usual,” she said.

Taylor went on to say the topic was not germane to Van De Putte’s question: if Taylor was committed to the public safety of citizens. But Van De Putte pressed on.

“I’m not using an unfortunate situation,” the former senator said. “Yes, you are.” Taylor countered.

“You were greatly concerned, and you should have been in November when this happened,” Van de Putte continued.
In turn, Taylor asked Van De Putte about promises to drop the city’s lawsuit over the police contracts. Taylor said Van De Putte made contradicting statements to police and business leaders.

“I would not have gone to the drastic measure of suing our own police officers,” Van De Putte said.
Taylor then asked, “But the lawsuit is in place, so what is your answer now?”
“Excuse me, please allow me to finish,” Van De Putte said

Van De Putte’s response was she would have taken care of the issue before involving the courts; but did not give clarifying details how. The two were also asked if the right time for police body cameras is now. Both answered ‘yes.’

Ivy Taylor and Leticia Van De Putte will debate on KSTX this Monday at 3:00 p.m.

Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules