AUSTIN, Texas - Texas' first Hispanic female sheriff says she will run against Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in 2018.
Democrat Lupe Valdez has been the sheriff of Dallas County for 12 years. Her announcement Wednesday makes her the most prominent Democrat in the race after bigger names passed on trying to break Republicans' 22-year hold on the Texas governor's mansion.
The 70-year-old Valdez is an Army veteran and was Texas' first openly gay female sheriff. She's clashed with Abbott over federal immigration detainers and says opportunity is "out of reach" for many Texans.
Valdez will resign as sheriff to run for governor. She'll be an underdog in Texas, which hasn't elected a Democrat to a statewide office since 1994.
Several other lesser-known Democrats are also running. Abbott has no serious GOP challenger.