DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – As former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez and Houston businessman Andrew White campaign for Democrats’ votes, one of the most contentious issues between them is their views on abortion.
Valdez is an abortion rights advocate and White is an abortion rights opponent.
At their one and only debate earlier this month, Valdez asked White to apologize to women.
“What I have a problem with is in making that decision, he stated I made this decision because we respect life. What does that mean? That a woman who’s had to make a difficult decision does not respect life? That’s what he owes an apology about, not because of his stance, but because the way he treats the other stance.”
In response, White said, “I don’t think she was listening to my answer. I said there was a lot of discussion about my personal beliefs and my personal beliefs are just that: they’re my personal beliefs. Everyone has their own personal beliefs, everyone has them on this topic. But I trust women to make their own healthcare decisions.”
Valdez and White agree on many policies:
They want to expand medicaid.
They want to divert the $800 million the state spends on border security to public schools, and they want the state to pay a larger share for schools than local property taxpayers.
White said, “My priorities have been the same since the very beginning: education, education, education.”
He wants to pay teachers more, establish universal, full-day pre-K, and to pay for it, he wants to unleash billions of dollars.
White said as much as $5 billion could come from closing a loophole that allows commercial property owners to file suit against county property appraisers.
In addition, he said he favors expanding gaming at existing horse and dog tracks, which he estimates could raise $3 billion.
Valdez said she wants to everyone in Texas to have a living wage. “A person should be able to work 40 hours a week and be able to take care of their families.”
When asked if that means the state should raise its minimum wage, Valdez said, “If that’s what we have to do, yes.”
Valdez said she understands what Texans are experiencing. “I know what the everyday Texan is going through. The everyday Texan is struggling more and more and I know what it is to have those struggles.”
That’s why she believes she is the stronger candidate to challenge Republican Greg Abbott over White.
But White points to the fact that every major newspaper in Texas has endorsed him over Valdez. “We’re talking about the candidate who can beat Greg Abbott in November. That’s the question Democratic voters are asking themselves, which candidate can win? And I believe I’m that candidate.”
During the March primary, Valdez won nearly 160,000 more votes than White in a very crowded field.
But turnout in the early vote for the primary runoff was really low among Democrats in North Texas — averaging about 1 percent.
That may make it more challenging for White to win.