Despite Reports, Dallas County Sheriff Says She Hasn’t Resigned to Run for Governor

Lupe Valdez, Dallas County Sheriff, speaking on the Race and Policing in Texas panel at A Symposium on Race and Public Policy. Jan 14, 2017. (Photo: Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune)

By Patrick Svitek, The Texas Tribune
November 29, 2017

*Editor’s note: This story has been updated throughout.

Democratic Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez is still weighing a run for governor, despite reports that she has resigned ahead of a likely a campaign.

Multiple local news outlets in North Texas reported her resignation Wednesday evening. At least two cited Dallas County Democratic Party Chair Carol Donovan as the source of the news. But a few hours later, Valdez’s spokeswoman denied the reports.

“As she has stated in the past, the Sheriff is considering the next stage in her career,” said the spokeswoman Melinda Urbina. “A letter of resignation was not submitted today. The Sheriff will make a formal announcement when her final decision is made.”

Valdez told The Texas Tribune earlier this month that she was exploring a challenge to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. He’s seeking a second term in 2018.

Democrats have been looking for a serious gubernatorial contender ahead of the Dec. 11 deadline for candidates to file for the 2018 primaries. So far only little-known Democrats have lined up to take on Abbott.

Last month, Valdez told the Tribune she believes it’s “time for a change” in GOP-dominated state government.

“Too much of one thing corrupts, and I’m a strong believer in a two-party system,” she said. “I’m hoping that enough people are seeing that too much one-sided is not healthy for Texas.”

First elected in 2004, Valdez is serving her fourth term as sheriff of Dallas County, the second most populous county in the state and a Democratic stronghold. Her election in Dallas made national news because she became the first openly gay female sheriff in the state, and the only Hispanic female sheriff in the country.

The list of other candidates exploring a run includes Dallas businessman Jeffrey Payne and Tom Wakely, a former congressional candidate from San Antonio.

Andrew White, the son of late Gov. Mark White, has been exploring a run for a number of weeks. Amid reports that Valdez was running, White said he is “full steam ahead” with preparations for a potential run and will have an announcement next week.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at this link.

The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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