AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – A gun loaned to Texas’ Democratic nominee for governor while she was sheriff of Dallas County is missing and she is working with her former department to find it, authorities said Monday.
Lupe Valdez was sheriff for 13 years before stepping down in December to become a longshot challenger to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.
In a statement, spokesman Juan Bautista Dominguez said “it is possible that this weapon could have been stolen or misplaced during Sheriff Valdez’s moving transition and she is working with Dallas County Sheriff Department to locate the firearm.”
Dominguez said the weapon was a 9mm Beretta loaned to the sheriff in 2011.
Dallas County sheriff’s department spokesman Raul Reyna said the case was under investigation.
“If it is recovered, the firearm will be readily identifiable” Reyna said in a statement.
Valdez is a heavy underdog in Texas, which hasn’t elected a Democrat governor in 28 years. She won the nomination in a May primary runoff and would become Texas’ first Hispanic and openly gay governor, if elected.
Valdez has accused Abbott of insufficiently addressing gun safety in the wake of a gunman killing 10 people at a high school near Houston in May. The governor responded to the shooting with a 43-page plan that included improving gun storage safety laws.
In June, Valdez wrote in an editorial in the Houston Chronicle that parents should be held accountable if “reckless storage of weapons” allows children to gain access to a firearm.
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