|Guadalupe "Lupe" Valdez|
January 1, 2005 – December 6, 2017
|Preceded by||Jim Bowles|
|Succeeded by||Marian Brown|
|Born|| October 11, 1947|
San Antonio, Texas
|Alma mater|| Southern Nazarene University|
University of Texas at Arlington
|Occupation|| Law enforcement officer|
Captain in the United States Army
On December 6, 2017, she resigned her position as sheriff to run successfully for the Democratic nomination for governor of Texas. In the May 22, 2018, runoff contest, she narrowly defeated intra-party rival, Andrew White, a Houston entrepreneur and the son of the late Governor Mark White. Valdez will now compete in the general election on November 6 against the incumbent Republican Greg Abbott.
In the primary election held on March 6, 2018, Valdez led a nine-candidate field with 42.6 percent of the ballots cast. Andrew White trailed with 28.9 percent and then lost to Valdez in the May 22 runoff.
The youngest of eight children of migrant farm workers, Valdez was reared in her native San Antonio, Texas. After working for a time in the farm fields herselp, she entered college and earned a bachelor's degree from Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Oklahoma. She then earned a master's degree in criminology and criminal justice from the University of Texas at Arlington.
After service in the United States Army, having advanced to the rank of captain, she became a jailer in a county jail and then a federal penitentiary. She retired in 2004 from the Customs Service within the United States Department of Homeland Security to run for sheriff in Dallas County. She is the first lesbian to have been the Dallas County sheriff.
White has presented himself as a "moderate" in the race in contrast to the outspoken liberal Valdez, who led in ten of the fifteen largest counties in the state in the primary and showed particular strength in heavily Hispanic Laredo in Webb County in south Texas. Two former African-American candidates endorsed White, Cedric Davis, Sr., a former mayor of Balch Springs who ran for governor, and Michael Cooper, an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor, a post held by the Republican Dan Patrick. Cooper said that he believes White is "the only candidate with a viable strategy" to unseat Abbott in November.
Political prognosticators had indicated that Valdez's liberal Hispanic base was more likely to turn out for the runoff than were supporters of Andrew White. On March 27, Valdez collected endorsements from twenty-two of the fifty-five Democratic members of the Texas House, most of whom are her fellow Hispanics. Valdez predicted that the endorsement will enhance "the unity growing behind our campaign. With this broad support, our movement is bringing together Texans of all backgrounds to fight for a new vision for Texas."
Valdez carries the backing of a plethora of liberal interest groups, the AFL-CIO, Planned Parenthood, Texas Tejano Democrats, Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, and Stonewall Democrat chapters in Houston, Dallas, Denton, San Antonio, and Austin. Intra-party rival Andrew White also carried liberal backing from the Houston GLBT Political Caucus, the Harris County Young Democrats, the Houston Stonewall Young Democrats and the state's three largest newspapers, including The Houston Chronicle.
Two days after her gubernatorial nomination, Valdez was questioned about her $12,000 debt in property taxes on seven properties that she owns in two counties. Valdez said that she is retiring the debt in monthly installments. She blamed her situation on high taxation in the "failed leadership" of the Abbott administration.
- Lupe Valdez resigns as Dallas County sheriff, announces her run for Texas governor. Dallas News (December 6, 2017). Retrieved on March 17, 2018.
- Election Returns. Texas Secretary of State (March 6, 2018). Retrieved on March 17, 2018.
- From farm to mansion? Lupe Valdez relishes underdog role in race for Texas governor. Dallas News. Retrieved on March 6, 2018.
- Peggy Fikac, "Valez, White marked by contrast in styles," San Antonio Express-News, March 17, 2018, pp. 1, A10.
- Mike Ward (March 28, 2018). 22 Dem state reps endorse Lupe Valez for governor. Laredo Morning Times.
- Mike Ward and Allie Morris, "Valdez's tax bills in spotlight: Democratic gov hopeful owes more than $12,000", The San Antonio Express-News, May 25, 2018, pp. 1, A10.