AUSTIN (KXAN) — The former Sheriff of Dallas County, Lupe Valdez, is running as the Democratic candidate for governor. She faces off against incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott on Nov. 6.
Valdez defeated Houston businessman Andrew White in the Democratic primary. She was the sheriff for Dallas County from 2005 to 2017. Valdez is the first Latina and LGBT person to run for Texas governor in state history.
Valdez supports embracing high-speed rail, public transit and new modes of transportation like self-driving cars.
“We have to invest in our infrastructure and plan for growth,” wrote Valdez on her website. “This is not only a dire need but an incredible economic opportunity.
Her website does not highlight a dollar amount she’ll advocate for on infrastructure. It also doesn’t way into the controversy over managed toll lanes or more taxes to pay for more concrete roads.
Valdez believes rising property taxes are direct results of the state government underfunding public schools, pushing the burden “squarely on to the backs of middle-class homeowners and small businesses.”
According to her website, she will work to close property tax loopholes that “benefit those at the top”, reducing property taxes, and reforming the school finance system.
As governor, Valdez says she will work to pass a statewide requirement for companies to offer paid sick leave and a living wage — more than $10 per hour based on national poverty levels — for those who work 40 hours a week.
Valdez also says she’ll work to get businesses to offer equal pay for equal work to tackle the wage gap between men and women.
“I believe an honest day’s work deserves an honest day’s pay. Texans are working harder each day, but the gap continues to expand,” wrote Valdez on her website.
Even though most decisions on immigration are made in D.C., Valdez says she will push Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship.
She believes current Republican policies are “fear-based” and lead to poor results both in safety and on a humanitarian level.
Valdez has been one of the most outspoken critics of the new state law, Senate Bill 4, which allows local officers to ask for citizenship status of people they arrest.
“We should make smart investments to the local people who understand the border and treat those seeking asylum humanely, not separate families and incarcerate children,” she wrote on her website.
“We are experiencing a health care crisis in Texas,” said Valdez. “An unregulated private health care system puts profit over people.”
Valdez says she will accept the $9 billion Medicaid expansion which would insure 1.5 million people. She also advocates for expanding access to health care in rural communities.
The candidate says she will also advocate for women’s access to abortion procedures. “I will fight tirelessly to protect women’s health and fundamental rights to their own bodies, so that women to have every resource necessary to make decisions about their own health.”
“I have carried a gun for most of my life — in the military and law enforcement, and as a civilian — and I strongly believe in the Second Amendment,” Valdez writes on her website.
As governor she says she will push for “common sense” measures that would require every person buying a gun to get a background check, making it a crime to lie on a background check, and “closing loopholes so domestic abusers can’t have access to a weapon.”
She supports a statewide “red flag” law that would allow a judge to limit someone’s access to a gun if deemed dangerous by law enforcement of family members.
Valdez says she will start by making the state pay more into the school finance system and updated the funding formulas to “ensure that funding is equitable across Texas.”
As governor, Valdez says she will advocate state dollars to invest in universal pre-K, college readiness programs and vocational training.
“We also must begin to pay and treat our teachers like the professionals that they are and make sure they are teaching to our children and not a standardized test,” she writes on her website.
On her website, she advocates taking a different approach than Gov. Abbott.
She says she supports border security measures and ensuring a safe border. However, she did not specify a funding level for border security or whether she would reverse sending hundreds of Texas Department of Public Safety troopers to the U.S.-Mexico border.