Democrat Lupe Valdez will run for Texas governor

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

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. "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", said Lupe Valdez, who has worked for Dallas County for 13 years.

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

Valdez's actions and those of fellow sanctuary sheriff, Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez, led to the creation and passage of Texas' SB4 Sanctuary City Law. Hours after she formally announced, his campaign team trumpeted an endorsement by the Dallas Police Association, a notable law-enforcement group in Valdez' hometown.

KXAN will live stream the 11:45 a.m. announcement within this story.

Valdez is the latest of several Democrats to challenge Gov. Greg Abbott, the Republican incumbent.

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Meanwhile, candidates for Valdez's soon-to-be-vacant sheriff's job are lining up. With five days left before the filing deadline, Valdez joins six "little known Democrats" in running for the top spot on the ticket, the Tribune wrote.

After attaining the rank of captain in the U.S. Army, Valdez went on to work as a federal agent for the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, focusing on fraud and drug cases for nearly 30 years before being elected sheriff of Dallas County, the state's second most populous county.

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. Democrats haven't won the governorship in more than two decades. He has pressed the White House for billions of dollars in additional recovery aid, and state leaders drew high marks in a recent survey of Harvey-affected residents by the Kaiser Family Foundation. At the time, Abbott responded by threatening to pull $250 million in criminal justice grants to counties that followed Valdez's lead, though Dallas never lost any funds. Abbott criticized the move as a sanctuary city policy.

First 21st Century Democrat to win statewide office in Texas.