Linda Curtis Bio
Linda is a leading spokesperson, analyst, and tactician for the Texas independent political movement. She has a long history in independent politics. Linda is proud to have played a part in gaining ballot access in 1988 for independent Lenora Fulani, the first woman and African American to get on the ballot for President in all 50 states. In the 90s, she served on the national committee of Ross Perot's Reform Party USA and as its Texas state organizer under Texas chair Paul Truax.
Following the demise of the Reform Party in 2001, Linda helped found the Independent Texans PAC. The PAC got its big break in 2005-6, when Carole Keeton Strayhorn, the Republican Texas Comptroller, left the Texas GOP to run as an independent for Governor against Republican Governor Rick Perry. Perry squeaked by with 39% of the vote, having lucked out with two independents for Governor in the race, Carole and Kinky Friedman. Democratic candidate, Chris Bell, came in second, but with a combined 1.3 million votes, Strayhorn and Kinky put the independents at 2nd place.
In 2004, Linda assisted the Libertarian Party of Texas in regaining ballot access. She shepherded their Executive Director in running a successful petition drive gathering 45,000 signatures to qualify for the ballot and personally, Linda collected 2,000 signatures. That same year, Linda advised the Ralph Nader independent presidential campaign, which came close but failed to get on the ballot.
In 2013, Linda helped found the nonpartisan, nonprofit 501c4 membership association for Texas independents – the League of Independent Voters of Texas (LIV). LIV is the only voter association in Texas for the growing legions of Texans who call themselves independents.
Linda has played a leading role in several citizen municipal petitions, including three significant efforts in the city of Austin. In 1997, a campaign finance reform measure called, Austinites for A Little Less Corruption, passed at 72%. In 2008, a narrowly failed challenge to Austin subsidies for The Domain, a luxury shopping mall, led to a successful effort in 2012. Moving Austin to a new voting system called "10-1". The effort ushered in geographic representation, aka single-member districts, and the first in Texas (still only) independent citizens redistricting commission to draw the district lines.
Linda also helped to create a LIV project called Homegrown Petitions, which teaches citizens how to petition for a public vote in any of Texas' 350+ home rule cities. She collaborates with Barry Klein of Houston, a longtime advocate for homegrown municipal petition efforts.
Linda is a leader in the central Texas battle to avert the "Californiafication of Texas Water Policy," i.e., mass conveyance of groundwater for real estate development in areas with inadequate local supply. She has continued to spur Texas officials to take action to audit and cut back the controversial Vista Ridge "San Antone Hose" water pipeline. You can learn about it at LIV's water page, The Big Squeeze.
Linda Curtis grew up in Miami, Florida, during the construction "boom" of the 1950s. The daughter of a sub-contractor who loved the outdoors, hunting, and fishing said, "I realized years later that we all benefited from the fact that Daddy had helped to pave over paradise and put up a parking lot." Linda attended the University of Florida during the Vietnam War, where she caught the political bug and dropped out. She received her bachelor's degree at age 60 from Huston-Tillotson University.
Linda moved to Austin in 1992 and Bastrop in 2002.
On June 30, 2022, Linda was certified by the Texas Secretary of State to have her name placed on the November ballot as an independent running for Texas House District 17. HD-17 includes Bastrop, Burleson, Caldwell, Lee, and Milam counties.
Fun Facts About Linda:
· Jay Leno, in his "funny headlines" bit, read a headline from the Austin American-Statesman about Linda, commenting, "Here's this woman, Linda Curtis in Austin, Texas, running for city council because she wants just a little less corruption." Big laugh.
· In 1999, when Linda was running for Austin City Council as "Linda for A Little Less Corruption," she called a voter by the name of Greg Abbott. Then Texas Supreme Court Justice, now Governor, told her he had just voted for her. In 2021, after the Texas grid collapse, Linda advised the LIV to photo-shop a crown on Abbott’s head.
· Linda rides horses but does not bet on them. She believes her chances of winning the HD-17 race are substantially better than Rich Strike, the 80-1 shot that won the 2022 Kentucky Derby. Is her independent candidacy a bet? Your bet.