Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez to enter Texas governor's race

Dallas Sheriff Lupe Valdez to run for governor; announcement today in Austin

"I'm in", Lupe Valdez said Wednesday morning in Austin as she announced her candidacy for governor of Texas. 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.

"From migrant farm worker in a humble family of eight children to U.S. Army captain, federal agent to sheriff, Valdez has dedicated her life to hard work, service, and defending Texans", wrote the Texas Democratic Party in a press release.

Elected in 2004, Valdez is the state's first gay female Hispanic sheriff. Other Democrats weighing a run, however, include Andrew White, son of late Gov. Mark White, former San Antonio congressional candidate Tom Wakely, and Dallas businessman Jeffrey Payne.

Valdez, a former senior agent for the U.S. Customs Service in the Department of Homeland Security, addressed the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia previous year but she is largely unknown outside of North Texas. After the brutal death of a prisoner at the county jail in December 2016, the Dallas Morning News' editorial board knocked the sheriff for "pitiful reasoning" and being slow to recognize the severity of the incident. With five days left before the filing deadline, Valdez joins six "little known Democrats" in running for the top spot on the ticket, the Tribune wrote. At the time, Abbott responded by threatening to pull $250 million in criminal justice grants to counties that followed Valdez's lead, though Dallas never lost any funds. Democrats haven't won the governorship in more than two decades.

Abbott, now seeking a second term, often polls as the state's most popular elected official.

"I think we're going to raise whatever money's necessary".

We haven't independently corroborated such details though we've emailed Valdez's campaign to elicit more detail. Hours after she formally announced, his campaign team trumpeted an endorsement by the Dallas Police Association, a notable law-enforcement group in Valdez' hometown. Her statement drew harsh criticism from Governor Abbott who said, "sanctuary city policies like those promoted by your recent decision to implement your own case-by-case immigrant detention plan will no longer be tolerated in Texas".



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