Pat Ledbetter, a longtime local college professor, has announced she is seeking the Democratic Party nomination for a seat in the Texas House of Representatives.

Ledbetter said in a candidacy announcement she is seeking votes in the 2020 primary election for House District 68, currently held by Rep. Drew Springer, a Republican. Springer told KFYO talk radio station in June he intended to seek reelection.

Springer, of Muenster, is in his fourth term as representative for District 68, which includes Cooke County and 21 other counties extending into the Panhandle. Springer was unopposed in the 2018 Republican Party primary election and in the November general election.

“I believe our state legislature is not responding to all Texans,” Ledbetter said in her candidacy statement. “I begin this campaign with a firm belief that more unites us than divides us. However, the political process that should bring us together drives us apart.”

She said in a followup interview Monday, Nov. 4, that though she’s been “engaged in a lot of campaigns,” she’d never run for public office before.

“Never really had a desire to till I got a little disgusted with what’s going on,” she added. “The thing that bothers me most is that civil but competitive campaigns have become impossible.”

Ledbetter called Springer, the incumbent, “a very decent man.”

“I think we can provide a model of how civil discussions ought to go,” she said.

Ledbetter has taught since 1967, mostly on the college level, she said. She’s currently a history professor at North Central Texas College, according to the college’s faculty listing, and does pro bono legal work. She’s on the legislative committee for the Texas Community College Teachers Association and is a former board member for Habitat for Humanity in Cooke County.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Houston; a Master of Arts and Ph.D. in history from the University of North Texas; and a Master of Science in higher education and a Juris Doctorate from Texas Tech University.

Ledbetter lives in Gainesville. Her late husband, Bill Ledbetter, passed away in 2017.

The primary election will be March 3, 2020, and the filing deadline for candidates in the primary is Dec. 9.

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