An openly lesbian, former Dallas County Sheriff, Lupe Valdez is now one of two Democrats running for Governor in the State of Texas, who will soon take on Republican incumbent Governor in the state’s primary election.
The former Sheriff will go head-to-head in a run-off scheduled for the 22nd of May, against Andrew White, the son of a former governor of Texas who’s also seeking the Democratic nomination.
Valdez who recently came close to securing the Democratic nomination by secured 42.9 percent of the vote in a face-off against nine candidates, now has to overcome her closest democratic contender Andrew White, who himself obtained 27.4% of the vote.
The winner of the run-off will officially become the Democratic nomination and run in the general election against incumbent Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who easily obtained the Republican nomination to run for re-election.
The incumbent, Abbott who has built an anti-LGBT record, is an opponent of same-sex marriage and said: “marriage was defined by God.”
Abbott pressured the Texas Supreme Court to take up a case against same-sex spousal benefits for Houston city employees despite the United States Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality. The justices handed down a ruling questioning whether the decision applies to those benefits despite explicit wording in the Obergefell decision.
Abbott also recently signed into law a “religious freedom” bill that allowed taxpayer-funded adoption agencies to deny placement into LGBTI homes and additionally called for a special session of the Texas legislature for the sole purpose of passing an anti-transgender bathroom bill. The attempt to pass anti-trans legislation in Texas was fortunately halted.
Valdez wasn’t the only openly LGBT candidate seeking the Democratic nomination to run for governor in Texas. Also in the mix was Dallas business person Jeffrey Payne, but he only obtained 4.8 percent support in the primary and won’t proceed to the run-off.
History could be made, should Valdez secure the nomination and pull off an unlikely win in the general election, becoming the first openly gay person to be elected as governor in the United States.