Democrat Lupe Valdez will run for Texas governor

Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez meets with the Midland County Democratic Party in January at Martinez Bakery. Valdez Texas first Hispanic female sheriff announced Wednesday she will run against Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in 2018

Dallas Sheriff Lupe Valdez, former San Antonian, announces 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 Valdez.

"I've dedicated my life to defending Texas and I'm not done yet", Valdez said.

"The definition of an optimist is a black Democrat running in Texas", he quipped. That was a couple of years before she ran for sheriff. Her office denied that, saying she was still "considering the next stage in her career".

She introduced herself as a former migrant farmworker who worked her way through college and a U.S. Army veteran with about three decades of law enforcement experience. "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".

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who announced his intentions to seek a second term this summer, grew up in Duncanville; his father was a stockbroker and insurance agent, his mother a homemaker, Brian Sweany noted in a 2013 Texas Monthly story. Political consultants and experts rated her chances of success as slim, at best. The only credit she may get is taking it. "You're starting literally from scratch in building name recognition, a volunteer base, a fundraising network". "I don't see her winning".

Texas hasn't had a Democratic governor since Ann Richards and that was more than 20 years ago. Wendy Davis, whose abortion-rights stance in a legislative filibuster briefly made her a national political star.

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. "I do know that Gov. Abbott very much wants to win the Latino vote in Texas, and so this may present a little bit more of a challenge for that", said Mackowiak.

They will appear on the Democratic primary ballot next March 6.

The announcement comes after media reports and speculation last week that she would file as a candidate in the Democratic primary. "We need to let the people know that we're here", she said.

"I'm in", said Valdez. Abbott may have the money.

The new "sanctuary cities" law, known as SB4, is Abbott's toughest crackdown on immigration and was partly fueled by Valdez's decision in 2015 that Dallas jails would stop automatically honoring federal immigration detainers for minor offenses. Hours after she formally announced, his campaign team trumpeted an endorsement by the Dallas Police Association, a notable law-enforcement group in Valdez' hometown.

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

Valdez delivered remarks and filed for governor at 11:45 a.m. Wednesday at the Texas Democratic Party headquarters in Austin. "Not a match", each says.

"I'm interested in open borders, sanctuary cities and California", her profile reads. "I believe that it's going to take whatever is necessary and no more", said Valdez.

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