Former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez secured the Democratic nomination in the race for governor and now faces Gov. Greg Abbott in November’s general election.
Valdez and Houston businessman Andrew White were neck-and-neck in Tuesday’s runoff election. The Associated Press called the race shortly after 9:30 p.m.
Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued a statement saying the party made history electing the first Latina and first openly LGBTQ Texan to serve as the major party nominee for governor.
“Lupe Valdez has spent a lifetime breaking down barriers and defending Texans,” Hinojosa said. “In Lupe’s story, we see the resiliency and tenacity of Texans. Her candidacy is a signal to every child that no matter the color of your skin, who you love or where you come from, in Texas, you’ve got a fair shot.”
In her victory speech, Valdez said the ability to receive a public education, the honor of serving in the military and the opportunity to earn a living wage gave her a fighting chance.
“I need a governor and I’m going to be a governor who will say, “Now let me find a path for you, now let me find a path for your health care, let me find a path for your living wage, let me find a path for your public education,” Valdez said.
White said he called Valdez to congratulate her and endorses her in her campaign to become Texas’ next governor.
“I’m ready to help in any way I can to give Greg Abbott an early retirement party,” White said.
Abbott’s campaign released an attack ad shortly after Valdez’s victory was announced, calling her wrong for Texas and using snippets of old media interviews she’s done on various state issues. He’s previously criticized her for her endorsement from Planned Parenthood and stance on so-called sanctuary cities.