AUSTIN, Texas - Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez made it official Wednesday morning - she’s running for governor of Texas.
“Like so many hardworking Texans, I know it’s tough deciding between buying food, finding a decent place to live, and setting aside money for college tuition,” Valdez said in a statement. “Opportunity in Texas ought to be as big as this great state, but it is out of reach for far too many. That’s why I’m running for Texas governor.”
Valdez delivered remarks and filed for governor at 11:45 a.m. Wednesday at the Texas Democratic Party headquarters in Austin.
Valdez was first elected sheriff in 2004. She and Gov. Greg Abbott have sparred before over immigration practices the governor has criticized as “sanctuary city” policies.
While Valdez becomes the highest-profile Democratic gubernatorial candidate to date, she still faces an uphill battle against Abbott. Abbott has a $40 million campaign war chest and Texas hasn’t elected a Democrat statewide in more than two decades.
Under the Texas Constitution, Valdez is required to step down in order to run for another office. Her campaign said she will officially notify the Dallas County Commissioners Court of her decision to run for governor this morning.