Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez will officially announce her candidacy for governor during a live event in Austin at 11:45 a.m., you can see it in the video player above.
Giving Democrats their highest-profile candidate for the state's top race, Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez launched her campaign for governor Wednesday after better-known politicians took a pass against a well-funded GOP incumbent in a strongly Republican state.
"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 statement.
"Opportunity in Texas ought to be as big as this great state", said Valdez. "So, I'm stepping up for Texas, for everyone's fair shot to get ahead. I believe good government can make people's lives better, and I intend to do just that".
Others who have filed as Democrats to challenge Abbott include Houston electronics businessman Joe Mumbach, Dallas financial analyst Adrian Ocegueda, retired Flint teacher Grady Yarbrough, former Balch Springs mayor Cedric Davis Sr. and San Antonio businessman Tom Wakely.
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Valdez has been the sheriff of Dallas County for 12 years. I'm a proud Texas Democrat.
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. "While he hasn't run for public office before, he is kind of playing that middle field to try to attract moderate voters in the Democratic Party but more so moderate voters on the Republican side, as well as independent voters". Hours after she formally announced, his campaign team trumpeted an endorsement by the Dallas Police Association, a notable law-enforcement group in Valdez' hometown. "That is a very, very, very hard task for Democrats to do particularly when they're working at a disadvantage in a red state like Texas".
And that lack of resources for a Texas Democratic candidates, Henson said isn't new. "She's an acceptable plan B", Jones says.
Valdez was among about 40 female sheriffs in the USA, 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.
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"Texas is not a red state, it's a nonvoting state", said Valdez.
"Abbott may have the money, but we're going to have the people", said Valdez.
Valdez has a history of sparring with Abbott, tangling with the governor in 2015 over immigration policies and criticizing Senate Bill 4, which Abbott signed into law earlier this year, as "anti-immigrant grandstanding" for penalizing cities and counties that decline to help enforce federal immigration laws.
As for Governor Abbott's strategy, Mackowiak said Abbott may rethink a strategy on the issue of immigration, now that Valdez is in the race. "I think people are fed up with a small amount of people running the show", said Shannon Perri, a Valdez supporter.
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