Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez is hearing out people who are encouraging her to seek the Democratic nomination for governor in 2018, but has made no decision to make the race.
“People have been talking and Sheriff Valdez is listening as she always does,” Melinda Urbina, a spokeswoman for the sheriff, said in a brief statement Monday afternoon. “She is currently focused on her job as sheriff. At this point, there is no new information to add.”
Urbina said that Valdez is not doing any interviews about her political plans at this time, That followed an interview earlier in the day with the Texas Tribune, in which Valdez described herself as “in the exploratory process,” of considering a bid for governor.
“I’ve been approached and I’m listening,” Valdez told the Tribune.
“Too much of one thing corrupts, and I’m a strong believer in a two-party system,” Valdez told the Tribune. “I’m hoping that enough people are seeing that too much one-sided is not healthy for Texas.”
Valdez, in her fourth term as sheriff, is something of a Democratic star. An Hispanic, lesbian law enforcement officer, Valdez had a featured speaking role at the Democratic National Convention in Cleveland in July 2016.
On Sunday, Wendy Davis, the Democratic Party nominee for governor in 2014, said at a Latino voter forum at the AT&T Center on the University of Texas campus, that there was a 99 percent chance she would not run again for governor in 2018, and that the there remained a one percent chance she would only “because no one’s stepping forward,”
“There’s only the very remotest of chances that I would do that,” Davis said at a press conference Monday on the north steps of the Capitol to launch a campaign by the Texas Freedom Network to hold forums at ten college campuses this month to inform Texans about how legislators use lies to pass bad legislation.
“I’m waiting for someone credible to step forward so that I can throw my full support behind them,” Davis said.
So far, three candidates — Jeffrey Payne of Dallas, Tom Wakely of San Antonio and Garry Brown of Austin — have announced their intention to run for the Democratic nomination for governor.
Andrew White, the son of former Democratic Gov. Mark White, who died in August, is exploring the possibility of a candidacy, but in a Facebook post last week, Davis wrote the White’s “anti-choice” position on abortion made him unacceptable as the party’s nominee: “Uhh – no. Just no.”
Davis said she is helping the party try to find the right candidate.
The month-long filing period for candidates for the March primary opens Saturday.