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

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

And she has previously been to battle with Abbott over an issue that's since become only more front and center in Texas politics: immigration enforcement.

There appeared to be a false start last week, when Dallas news outlets reported Valdez had submitted her resignation, only for her office to deny it. Republicans pounced on the confusion, pressuring Dallas County to answer whether she violated the state Constitution's "resign to run" provision.

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. Texas has not elected a Democrat to statewide office in over two decades.

And those are some of the reasons why Valdez says, "She's in". "She spent weeks trying to get in the race, made a head fake last week, and is now in. I don't see her winning". A San Antonio native, she is the daughter of migrant farmworkers and Army veteran who publicly acknowledged she was lesbian when she ran for sheriff. But Davis lost to Abbott by 20-points. Andrew White is scheduled to announce his campaign on Thursday.

Republicans said Wednesday her positions will make her an easy target for Abbott, who polls show riding a wave of popularity despite his support of several divisive issues during this year's legislative session, including the so-called bathroom bill that pitted conservatives against business interests in Texas.

Gov. Greg Abbott, who faces no major GOP opponent, filed his bid for reelection earlier this month.

"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. "They can't just win with democratic voters, they have to turn out Democrats".


Meanwhile, candidates for Valdez's soon-to-be-vacant sheriff's job are lining up.

"I think we're going to raise whatever money's necessary", she said. He has over $40 million in the bank, and a number of top Texas Democrats - like former U.S. Housing Secretary Julián Castro - have already taken a pass on going up against him in 2018.

"If we listen to each other ... we can make changes", Valdez said.

Valdez brushed off the endorsement, suggesting to reporters that it does not reflect the view of the full membership of the association.

Hours later, Abbott's camp released a YouTube video entitled "Can the Texas Democrats Find a Match?" that mocks the party's trouble finding a high-profile candidate to run for governor in what likely is a preview of how he will portray her in the upcoming campaign. "It is a daunting prospect to go from sheriff of Dallas County to governor of the state of Texas", says Southern Methodist University political scientist Cal Jillson.

"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. "I think we'd be a great match".

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