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Lupe Valdez kicks off her campaign

Let’s get moving.

Lupe Valdez

Lupe Valdez, the former Dallas County Sheriff, formally launched her Democratic bid for governor on Sunday, touting a campaign aimed at representing all Texans and listing a broad range of topics she plans to address as election season gets underway.

“Together, we need to build something new — a new Texas,” Valdez told a crowd of supporters here. “Opportunity should be as big as the Texas sky.”


In her speech, Valdez knocked state lawmakers over their 2017 legislative session — referring to them as “people who were supposed to be serving us doing more harm than good” — and mentioned the state’s overcrowded classrooms and raising the minimum wage as issues she hopes to address as governor.

“The special interests in Austin continue to cook up fake ideas behind the curtain,” she said, referring to failed legislation that would’ve regulated which public restrooms transgender Texans could use and the anti-“sanctuary cities” bill that Abbott signed into law in 2017 as measures that are “certainly destroying the Texas brand.”

She also brought up Dreamers — undocumented immigrants who were brought into the country as children by their parents and who were granted relief from deportation under an Obama-era program — who she said are facing an uncertain future in Texas as Congress works to hash out a solution.

“Dreamers and their parents must be able to achieve their goals in the land that they’ve always considered their country,” she said. “We must educate to elevate.”

Valdez is my preferred candidate for Governor, for a variety of reasons. What I want from her out of the primary can be summed up as “please pass the Media Narrative Test”. These things are always arbitrary and unknowable until someone declares a particular thing to be part of that test (though not in those words), but I’d guess that the list includes having a good grasp on issues, not making any obviously dumb statements or campaign moves, and finishing as the clear frontrunner in a race with higher-than-the-media-expected turnout. If these sound subjective and hard to quantify, you are correct. Like it or not, the Democratic track record is such that the onus is on candidates like Lupe Valdez to make the media take them seriously. Beto O’Rourke has done a capable job of that so far – robust fundraising numbers have helped with that – but that mantle can be taken away at a moment’s notice. Basically, don’t screw up, be visible, and make your numbers. Easy-peasy, right? The Chron, the DMN, and the Dallas Observer have more.

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  1. Cameron says:

    Hey Charles,

    I would appreciate an article going into more detail about why you are leaning toward Lupe. I’m an Andrew White supporter but I would appreciate hearing your thoughts. I am a frequent reader of OffTheKuff and enjoy reading your analysis. on Texas politics.


  2. Cam,

    I’d say Andrew White is my second choice. Valdez is closer to me on the issues – I like that she’s attacking Abbott on SB4, and I’m leery of some of Andrew White’s “conservative Dem” messaging – and I believe she’d have the better shot at Abbott in November. But if White is the nominee, I’ll be happy to support him.

  3. Manny Barrera says:

    I will probably vote for White, as I agree with Garnet Coleman reasoning, “We don’t want people to believe that the Democratic Party is against the white males — and we’re not.” I would add straight white males.

  4. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    I’m with Lupe at this point.

    For me, the critical issue is this. Valdez has actually ran, and won in a big county. She’s proven that she can get votes. White has not.

    I don’t think that her sexual orientation is really going to be much of an issue. The number of voters that are willing to vote for a Democrat but not a Lesbian Democrat is probably very, very, very small. In other words, the voters that are reachable don’t care.

    I also think that operating under the assumption that nominating a bland white moderate will help you gain Anglo voters is flawed. If someone would vote against Lupe Valdez because she’s not white, then its highly unlikely that they’re voting for the Dem anyway. Besides, its not like Valdez is some sort of off the reservation extremist.

    Sure lets see how the primary plays out. But at this point, Valdez has a better electoral history and probably has better electoral prospects at this point.

    Valdez has proven that she can get the support of pretty much all segments of Dallas County.

  5. Bill Daniels says:

    Tom, the problem with nominating a straight, white (pun intended) guy is, that won’t be popular with the identity politics base of the party. They want to see minorities, women and gays, not more straight, white males. Expect a lackluster turnout for White among that base. As to white voters, most of the moderate or swing white voters have already left the Dems. You can only hear that you are the problem with the country, that you are racist, that you are the worst thing ever, etc., for so long before you just pick up and leave. Call it white flight, part II.

    Valdez gets nearly the full BINGO card of identity points, so she should generate more excitement among the various Democratic voting blocks than White would ever generate.

  6. Tom in Lazybrook says:


    Supporters of Abbott and Trump are not moderates. They’re far right conservatives. Lupe Valdez is not some crazed socialist. She’s a Sheriff for crying out loud.

    And she appears to be more qualified than Andrew White. She has an electoral history (and a successful one at that).

    I’m sorry if it upsets you that a woman, a Latina, and a Lesbian can actually be the most qualified candidate. For people who are bothered by that, might I suggest the Republican primary?

  7. Manny Barrera says:

    Tom it is about perception, not who is the best qualified, look who the United States has as president. Valdez is probably better qualified (at least experience in a bureaucracy) . The Republican Party has spent the last 20 years making the Democratic Party in Texas look like anything but straight and white, they worked to make it happen.

    In Florida Koch Brothers are already acting like the guy from Chicago as community organizers, the Puerto Ricans that are going to Florida because of Maria. They spend millions doing what the community organizers used to do a la giant Neighbor Center, but they lean them Republican.

  8. Joel says:

    There is nothing Democratic about Andrew white. Heck, if his dad had come along 10 years later, even he would have been a republican.

    Stop overthinking it. If you can’t vote for the leftist in the democratic primary, when can you?

  9. Manny Barrera says:

    Joel what makes you think Valdez is a leftist?

  10. Flypusher says:

    Moderate White voter here- I’m totally turned off by the likes of Abbott and Oatrick and Cruz.