Published: Thu, December 07, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Democrat Lupe Valdez will run for Texas governor

Democrat Lupe Valdez will run for Texas governor

Because she has three years left in her current term, Valdez was forced under state law to resign as sheriff to run for governor. "I think that dynamic is good and hopefully makes for an interesting choice and conversations for Democrats in 2018 in the primary".

Valdez is serving her fourth term as sheriff of Dallas County, the second most populous county in the state and a Democratic stronghold. State Democrats are surely hoping that the country's only openly gay, Hispanic, woman sheriff will at least draw a strong contrast with Abbott.

According to the Dallas Morning News, Valdez also battled with Abbott in 2015 over jail protocol when she refused to hold immigrants who committed minor offenses for more than 48 hours after their original release date.

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. "I don't see her winning".

"For far too long, hard-working Texans have been left behind - kept out - and frankly attacked for who they are: where they come from and who they love", said Valdez.

Casagranda says Republicans do have the momentum but the state could start to turn purple in 2018.

He said Valdez can be part of a wave of new progressive candidates taking office like he believes is happening in other states.

"The definition of an optimist is a black Democrat running in Texas", he quipped.

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Houston entrepreneur Andrew White, the son of the late former Gov. Mark White and who is expected to announce his bid for governor on Thursday, said he welcomes Valdez' candidacy because it will allow him and other Democrats to highlight Abbott policies that he says are out of step with those of most Texans, not just the conservative GOP voters they cater to.

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 US history.

Regardless of what the final Democratic primary field looks like, dislodging Abbott could require a herculean effort.

Any Democrat running for governor faces a steep climb against Abbott, who easily defeated the party's 2014 nominee, Wendy Davis, and has built a $40 million-plus war chest for re-election.

"I think we're going to raise whatever money is necessary". "Growing up, we always had faith", Valdez said Wednesday morning.

After attaining the rank of captain in the U.S. Army, Valdez went on to work as a federal agent for U.S. Customs and Border Protection and, later, the Department of Homeland Security, focusing on fraud and drug cases for nearly 30 years before being elected sheriff of Dallas County, the state's second most populous county. "Abbott may have the money - we're going to have the people".

"We know they're looking for a more visible [candidate], but my whole thing has been the visible candidate they've had for 24 years - we're at a quarter of a century now, and we're not picking up any speed with it", Payne said.

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