DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Democrat and former Dallas County sheriff Lupe Valdez kicked off her campaign Sunday afternoon to become Texas’ next governor.
She’s looking to take on Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, but her first step is to get past the Democratic primary.
A couple hundred people packed inside Tyler Station in Oak Cliff Sunday, standing shoulder-to-shoulder to support Valdez’s campaign.
In her speech at the event, Valdez gave her supporters an idea about what her campaign will focus on. She talked about making Texas a type of state that helps people get a fair shot.
Supporters agreed, calling the political speech encouraging and inspiring.
“Texas has a lot of everyday people. We need to start paying attention to those people. Nothing wrong with paying attention to the 1 percent. But we’ve got to include the other 99 percent,” said Valdez.
Valdez is well-known in Dallas as she served as Dallas County sheriff for well over a decade.
“I know she’s been in the community, but I want to learn more about who she is and what she plans on doing,” said supporter Aubrey Sears.
Supporters believe the challenge is getting her name out across Texas. Her next stop is a meet-and-greet in Brownsville next week.
Matthew Wilson, a political science professor at SMU, said getting on the campaign trail can build the much-needed political momentum.
“Clearly, Latinos and the vote in the valley is going to be a huge part of any Valdez coalition. It’s not surprising that she’s going to begin her campaign in that area where there’s a rich trove of Latino votes to go after,” said Wilson.
Wilson also believes another challenge for Valdez is raising money for political TV ads.
Andrew White, son of late Gov. Mark White and also running for governor, released a statement regarding Valdez’s campaign kickoff:
“Sheriff Valdez has a long record in public service, especially noteworthy in the male-dominated field of law enforcement. So this is going to be a competitive primary for Texas Democrats – and that’s a good thing. As a common sense Democrat and proven job creator, I’ll bring back sanity and a lot of hope to Texas. I’ll stand up to the extremism of President Trump – instead of turning a blind eye like Governor Abbott has. Texas deserves better.”