Lupe Valdez has resigned as Dallas County sheriff and is expected to soon file her candidacy for governor.
Valdez, who has led the department since 2005, could file in the Democratic primary as early as next week. She could not immediately be reached for comment.
Valdez, the state’s first gay female Hispanic sheriff, wrested the sheriff’s post from the GOP in 2004 and started the Democratic wave in Dallas County politics. Democrats are hoping that she could energize Texas’ largely untapped Hispanic voter base. She’s also the daughter of farm workers, an Army veteran, a former federal prison jailer and a former U.S. Customs senior agent.
She raised her profile somewhat last year with a prime-time speech at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia that nominated Hillary Clinton for president.
If Valdez were to win the Democratic primary, she would be a heavy underdog against Gov. Greg Abbott. He beat Democrat Wendy Davis by 20 percentage points in 2014, reported a campaign fund balance of $41 million in July.
Dallas County commissioner John Wiley Price said the road to victory would be tough.
“She’ll do well at whatever she tries to do,” Price said. “It’s a rough state [for a Democrat]. But you know, hey, anything is possible. I never thought Trump would win. Shows you what I know.”
Rice University political scientist Mark Jones said Valdez would be a heavy underdog against Abbott with no real chance to win.
But he said she could help attract Hispanic voters, bring credibility to the ticket and help down-ballot candidates.
“If not win, the hope is that she can do better than Wendy Davis and give a boost to Texas Democrats,” Jones said.
See here for the background. With all due respect to Andrew White, Sheriff Valdez is my first choice. She’s going to need to start raising money ASAP, and that means everyone, all of us, are going to have to give till it hurts.
Depending on what White does, we could have a pretty big field for the gubernatorial primary. There are already three candidates that have filed – Tom Wakely, Grady Yarbrough, and Adrian Ocegueda. Throw in White, Jeffrey Payne, and Lupe Valdez, and that’s a half dozen hopefuls. Some are more equal than others, of course, but this could be quite the interesting primary. If it winds up being expensive and goes to a runoff? That’s all right, as long as all the candidates are putting in an effort to get voters engaged. If there was ever a year for it, this is it.
Just a thought here, but maybe someone could suggest to Andrew White that the best use of his time and talent at this point might be to file for Comptroller instead. We don’t have anyone for that spot, his fundraising abilities would be awfully handy, and his ideological differences would be less of an issue. Put me in charge of the smoke-filled back room, and I’d make that happen in a heartbeat. Alas, I don’t have that power, and I figure once most people have their heart set on the top office, they’re unlikely to be persuaded to set their sights somewhere else. Like I said, just a thought. I eagerly await further word from Sheriff Valdez. The Trib and the Chron have more.
UPDATE: Hold on a minute.
Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, a Democrat who has been exploring a run for governor, doesn’t appear ready to quit her day job for a campaign yet, despite reports she resigned ahead of a likely bid.
Multiple local news outlets in North Texas reported her resignation Wednesday evening. At least two cited Dallas County Democratic Party Chair Carol Donovan as the source of the news. But a few hours later, Valdez’s spokeswoman denied the reports.
“As she has stated in the past, the Sheriff is considering the next stage in her career,” said the spokeswoman Melinda Urbina. “A letter of resignation was not submitted today. The Sheriff will make a formal announcement when her final decision is made.”
Not sure what went wrong here. I hope this was just simply a case of overeagerness, and not getting the facts wrong. We’ll know soon enough, one way or the other.