The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund on
Wednesday endorsed the gubernatorial bid of former Dallas County
Sheriff Lupe Valdez.
Valdez, Texas' first openly gay and
first Latina sheriff, announced her campaign in January.
The Victory Fund endorsed 14 out
candidates on Wednesday, raising their 2018 election cycle
endorsements to 74.
“We have an unprecedented number of
LGBTQ people running for office this cycle – some running races to
become historic firsts and others running to take out anti-LGBTQ
incumbents and be champions for all their constituents,” said
Victory Fund CEO Annise Parker in a statement. “These 14
candidates are values-driven leaders who are committed to equality,
but are equally determined to fight for the bread and butter issues
important to their communities. We have the opportunity to
dramatically increase LGBTQ representation in local governments,
state legislatures and the governors’ mansions, so Victory Fund is
all-in to ensure our endorsed candidates win on Election Day.”
Earlier this month, Valdez and Andrew
White, the son of the late Governor Mark White, beat out six
candidates vying for the Democratic nomination. A May 22 run-off
will determine which candidate will challenge Republican Governor
Greg Abbott in the fall.
Democrats face a steep incline in
taking the governor's mansion; Texas has not elected a Democrat to
statewide office in over two decades.
Abbott, a vocal opponent of LGBT
rights, is seeking a second term and has amassed a $40 million-plus
re-election war chest.
The Los Angeles Times notes that
Valdez's run could benefit the Democratic Party.
“One hope that Democrats have for
Lupe Valdez is that she increases voter registration and turnout
among Latinos and she shifts the percentage of the Latino vote won by
Democrats from the 55[%] to 65% range, where it’s been recently in
Texas, to the 65[%] to 75% range, where it’s been in places like
California,” Mark Jones, a political science professor at Rice
University in Houston, told