Dallas Sheriff Lupe Valdez, former San Antonian, announces run for 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

She didn't even bother to pick up the phone to chat with me on background about the report that she'd resigned last week. "Opportunity in Texas ought to be as big as this great state, but it is out of reach for far too many".

Valdez told reporters in Austin Wednesday: "I was born the eighth child of migrant farm workers". In 2015, Abbott took issue with Dallas County tweaking a policy that limited how long it detains immigrants who commit minor offenses before turning them over to federal immigration officials.

"For the Dreamers, if this isn't their country, they don't have a country", Valdez said.

Valdez, 70, has been the Dallas County sheriff for 12 years, after earlier careers as a prison guard, a federal Customs agent and a Department of Homeland Security investigator and supervisor. "People loved Ann Richards", he said.

"Midterms have been harder for Democrats because progressive voters haven't had a reason to come out". He says democrats have tried the "moderate" thing - it doesn't work. "Today we don't even live in the same neighborhoods", he said.

But Republican consultant Matt Mackowiak said it's going to be an uphill battle for Valdez. "She has less than a year to do this, and she's running against a Republican incumbent governor with $40 million dollars in the bank, whose approval ratings are very, very high, in a Republican state".

Valdez will have other challengers in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, including Dallas businessman Jeffrey Payne, former congressional candidate Tom Wakely of San Antonio and former Balch Springs Mayor Cedric Davis. The governor is sitting on a campaign war chest of more than $40 million, and no Democrat has won statewide office in Texas in more than 20 years. "We're going to have the people".

Valdez is the sixth Democrat to throw her hat in the ring.

Abbott and Valdez are not unfamiliar with one another. The two have already butted heads over the issue of sanctuary cities.

Until Wednesday, six little-known Democrats had filed to challenge Republican Gov.

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"There were liberal Republicans and there were conservative Democrats".

"We are now happy to see that the top of the ticket is getting filled out". "It will be about both parties bringing out their voters, rather than the candidates speaking to the voters; the members of the other party and trying to get them to move".

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

Wakely - who unsuccessfully challenged U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, previous year - has been outspoken in calling for the party to take more seriously the black vote, which he believes will be key to winning in 2018.

"Texas is not a red state, it's a "non-voting" state". The only credit she may get is taking it. They're hurting in terms of financial resources.

Valdez's office has also faced criticism over an alleged lack of transparency around prisoner deaths and injuries. While her name may be known in the Dallas area, that's not the case statewide.

In the coming weeks, she will start traveling the state to introduce herself to Texans not to mention begin fundraising.

"I think that if Sheriff Valdez runs and if Mr".

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

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