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

06 December 2017

After local Democrats bungled the opening of Lupe Valdez's gubernatorial campaign last week with a premature announcement that, disappointingly, resulted in zero headlines containing the phrase "Lupe Fiasco", the Dallas County Sheriff will actually resign her law enforcement post today to run for governor.

She'll run against more than a half dozen candidates in the Democratic Primary. She's clashed with Abbott over federal immigration detainers and said opportunity is "out of reach" for many Texans.

Valdez is serving her fourth term as sheriff of Dallas County, the second most populous county in the state and a Democratic stronghold. "I believe good government can make people's lives better, and I intend to do just that", said Valdez in a statement Wednesday morning.

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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.

The announcement comes after media reports and speculation last week that she would file as a candidate in the Democratic primary.

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.

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Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins reacted to the announcement Wednesday via Twitter, thanking Valdez for her leadership. 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. She's also the daughter of farm workers, an Army veteran, a former federal prison jailer and a former senior agent with U.S. Customs.

Valdez told The Texas Tribune a month ago that she was looking at the possibility of challenging Abbott.

Abbott and Valdez are not unfamiliar with one another. She'll be an underdog in Texas, which hasn't elected a Democrat to a statewide office since 1994. The two have already butted heads over the issue of sanctuary cities.

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