The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has endorsed Linda Chavez-Thompson in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor.

Chavez-Thompson, born in Lubbock to parents who were sharecroppers, was picking cotton at the age of 10 for 30 cents an hour. She went on to become a vice chairwoman of the National Democratic Party and the highest-ranking Hispanic in the labor movement. She retired two years ago from her job as executive vice president of the AFL-CIO.

Known as a tough but reasonable negotiator, Chavez-Thompson says she wants to be a consensus builder in the state Senate, tackling the issues of education funding and the projected budget shortfall. She favors passing a local-option funding bill for transportation.

Chavez-Thompson said the Republican's leadership in gerrymandering congressional districts in 2003 bordered on "stupidness -- if that's a word."

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The winner of the Democratic primary faces incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in November.

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