The two candidates in the runoff for the Democratic nomination for governor will face off Friday night in their only debate. Lupe Valdez and Andrew White are scheduled to debate at St. James Episcopal Church in east Austin.
The debate will begin at 7 p.m. and is scheduled to last one hour. The event will be live streamed within this story and on KXAN.com and on the websites of Nexstar stations across Texas.
Valdez served four terms as sheriff of Dallas County. She stepped down late last year to launch her campaign for governor. Valdez has an ongoing conflict with Gov. Greg Abbott over immigration policy.
Back in 2015, she announced that the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office would not turn over all undocumented offenders to federal agents. Valdez said instead the department would do so on a case-by-case basis. The conflict was one motivating factor in Abbott’s push for anti-sanctuary cities legislation.
White has lived in the governor’s mansion before—back in the 1980s when he was the teenage son of former Texas Governor Mark White.
White is the president of an equity firm. Before this campaign, he had not been active in politics. He made the decision to join the race after his father’s death last August. White said Abbott’s leadership style is the anthesis of his father’s style.
The debate comes just days before the start of early voting for the runoff. Early voting begins Monday, May 14 and runs through Friday, May 18. Runoff election day is Tuesday, May 22.