Democrat Lupe Valdez will run for Texas governor

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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. Democrat Andrew White of Houston, whose late father, Mark, was an attorney who served as governor from 1983 through 1986, has indicated his intention to run for governor as well, though he has yet to file his candidacy. "I believe good government can make people's lives better, and I intend to do just that".

She was Texas' first openly gay sheriff and has publicly clashed with Abbott over her handling of federal immigration detainers in the nation's seventh-largest jail system.

Valdez is easily the most high-profile Democrat to throw her hat in the ring for 2018-Democrats couldn't talk either of the Castros, Dallas representative Rafael Anchia, or actor Eva Longoria into what is likely to be a doomed campaign-and the all but certain victor of her party's primary.

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Last week, Dallas County Democratic Party chairwoman Carol Donovan told WFAA that Valdez meant to quit and run for governor.

Speculation has swirled publicly for weeks about whether Valdez would run, after she acknowledged she was "in the exploratory process" of starting a gubernatorial bid. With five days left before the filing deadline, Valdez joins six "little known Democrats" in running for the top spot on the ticket, the Tribune wrote. But Davis lost to Abbott by 20-points.

In the fight against Abbott, who has months of preparation, a $41 million war chest and a Republican incumbency to boost him along, Valdez will be a severe underdog should she secure the Democratic nomination.

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"I think we're going to raise whatever money's necessary", she said.

Abbott's campaign did not have any immediate reaction to Valdez's candidacy. Hours after she formally announced, his campaign team trumpeted an endorsement by the Dallas Police Association, a notable law-enforcement group in Valdez' hometown. In 2015, they butted heads over her department's policy regarding compliance with federal immigration authorities - a debate that later cropped up in Travis County and became the driving force behind the "sanctuary cities" bill that Abbott signed into law earlier this year.

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