Published: Thu, December 07, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Lupe Valdez, a Democratic candidate for governor, has declared migrant worker roots

Lupe Valdez, a Democratic candidate for governor, has declared migrant worker roots

In a statement this morning, Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez says she will resign and file for governor at the Texas Democratic Party headquarters in Austin later this morning.

"I'm a proud Texas Democrat. 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", Lupe Valdez said.

Last week, Dallas County Democratic Party chairwoman Carol Donovan told WFAA that Valdez meant to quit and run for governor.

First elected to the sheriff's office in 2004, Valdez was re-elected three more times in 2008, 2012 and 2016.

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who announced his intentions to seek a second term this summer, grew up in Duncanville; his father was a stockbroker and insurance agent, his mother a homemaker, Brian Sweany noted in a 2013 Texas Monthly story.

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.

She is the second gay Democrat running for governor. But the true Democratic heavyweights took a pass, including Julian Castro, who was President Barack Obama's housing secretary and is a former mayor of San Antonio.

But considering how they've been doing in Texas, "Dem" are some long odds.

Sheriff Lopez threw her hat in the ring Monday morning in what will likely be a lightly contested Democratic Party primary for the governor's slot on the November ballot.

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.

In the fight against Abbott, who has months of preparation, a $41 million war chest and a Republican incumbency to boost him along, Valdez will be a severe underdog should she secure the Democratic nomination.

The new "sanctuary cities" law, known as SB4, is Abbott's toughest crackdown on immigration and was partly fueled by Valdez's decision in 2015 that Dallas jails would stop automatically honoring federal immigration detainers for minor offenses.

Over the past year, Valdez has attacked the state's anti-sanctuary cities law, Senate Bill 4, which Abbott has lauded as a measure to improve public safety.

Valdez faces an uphill battle in a statewide race for Texas' highest office.

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