"Walker, Texas Ranger" runs from a political fight.
Actor Chuck Norris, who for years played a tough Texas lawman on TV, has ducked for cover in a real-life brawl — the race to become the next Dallas County sheriff.
Norris stopped in the city recently to record two radio ads for Lupe Valdez, the Democratic candidate in what has shaped up to be a spirited race for sheriff.
The spots would have been a small coup for Valdez given that Norris is a convincing law-and-order type and, more importantly, a well-recognized Republican.
Thursday, though, Norris informed Valdez in a brief letter from his lawyer that he was withdrawing his support.
Susan Hays, chairwoman of the Dallas County Democratic Party, said Republicans got wind of the endorsement and leaned on Norris to withdraw it.
"I'm restraining myself from calling him a weenie," Hays said of Norris, a martial arts black-belt who never flinched as Walker, Texas Ranger.
John Hensley, a former U.S. Customs agent who was Valdez's boss when he ran the agency's Dallas regional office, was the one who asked Norris to endorse Valdez.
"I'm sure Chuck's mad at me for ever bringing this up," said Hensley, who described himself as a longtime Norris friend.
Hensley said he thought Valdez was a "good, competent and loyal agent" and approached Norris on her behalf.
Hensley said backers of GOP sheriff candidate Danny Chandler pressured Norris. "Rather than get in the middle of it he just said, 'I'm not gonna be involved,' " Hensley said.
Michael Forshey, Norris' lawyer, confirmed that Norris is officially neutral in the race.