Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez announced and officially filed her candidacy for governor of Texas Wednesday morning. "Opportunity in Texas ought to be as big as this great state, but it is out of reach for far too many, that's why I'm running for Texas Governor", said Lupe Valdez, who has worked for Dallas County for 13 years.
Nonetheless, Democratic Party officials applauded her candidacy as another step to turning Texas blue next year.
Valdez is now serving her fourth term as Dallas County sheriff, and drew national headlines when she was first elected in 2004 as the nation's first openly gay Hispanic sheriff. But hours after she announced she was running, Abbott's team released a re-election endorsement from a law enforcement group in her backyard: the Dallas Police Association.
KXAN will live stream the 11:45 a.m. announcement within this story. Valdez is one of only two female sheriffs in the state, and she is the only openly-gay female sheriff in Texas.
Dallas County Administrator Darryl Martin told The Texas Tribune on Wednesday that Valdez is required under the Texas Constitution to continue serving in her capacity until a successor is sworn in. After holding a short press conference, Valdez then thanked several of her supporters in attendance before leaving for a flight back to Dallas.
Using a mock dating website called "DHarmony", the search clicks through 10 well-known Democrats who declined to run against Abbott, from U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro of San Antonio to former Houston Mayor Annise Parker and Davis.
Valdez was among about 40 female sheriffs in the US, a number that amounts to only about 1 percent of the total sheriff population, according to the National Sheriffs Association. She'll be an underdog in Texas, which hasn't elected a Democrat to a statewide office since 1994.
He remains popular among social conservatives who drive Texas politics and is steering the state through the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which could become the costliest national disaster cleanup in USA history. She and Gov. Greg Abbott have sparred before over immigration practices the governor has criticized as "sanctuary city" policies.
Abbott won by a 20-point margin three years ago against former state Sen.
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