Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, a Democrat, is Running for Governor

Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez speaks at a law enforcement panel discussion of Senate Bill 4 the so-called Sanctuary Cities Bill in Austin in February
Dallas Sheriff Lupe Valdez to run for governor; announcement today in Austin
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08 December, 2017

Valdez and White will likely become the frontrunners for the Democratic primary.

"Like so many hardworking Texans, I know it's tough deciding between buying food, finding a decent place to live, and setting aside money for college tuition", Valdez said in a written statement published by the Texas Tribune. "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 governor". The sheriff will resign her post Wednesday morning, before officially kicking off her campaign at Texas Democratic Party headquarters in Austin.

Valdez is now serving her fourth term as Dallas County sheriff, and she drew national headlines when she was first elected in 2004 as the nation's first openly gay Hispanic sheriff. "I believe good government can make people's lives better, and I intend to do just that".

FILE - In this July 28, 2016, file photo, Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez speaks during the final day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

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.

In announcing her decision to run for governor, Valdez avoided immigration. Abbott has no serious GOP challenger.

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Valdez, a former senior agent for the U.S. Customs Service in the Department of Homeland Security, addressed the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia past year but she is largely unknown outside of North Texas.

The 70-year-old Valdez is an Army veteran and was Texas' first openly gay female sheriff.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins reacted to the announcement Wednesday via Twitter, thanking Valdez for her leadership.

Several other lesser-known Democrats are also running. "They would have questions about us and what our motives are". Valdez, a former U.S. Department of Homeland Security agent, says she is a proud Democrat.

Valdez never repealed her policy - as of earlier this year, she hadn't turned down a detainer request because of it, either - but her actions, along with those of Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez in 2017, spurred Abbott and the legislature to pass Senate Bill 4, Texas' so-called "sanctuary cities" bill.

Valdez resigned as Dallas County sheriff to launch a longshot bid against incumbent Republican Greg Abbott. Her office oversees the second largest county jail in Texas. Lopez drew national attention in October 2015 when she announced she would honor immigration detainers on a case-by-case basis, Breitbart Texas reported.


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