Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez is officially running for governor of Texas.
After months of speculation, Valdez announced her candidacy on Wednesday at the Texas Democratic Party headquarters. Valdez told the crowd that she is running for governor in 2018 because of her commitment to "common-sense government."
"I'm a proud Texas Democrat and I believe in common-sense government," Valdez said during her press conference. "That's why I'm running for Texas governor. I've dedicated my life to defending Texas, and I'm not done yet."
The Dallas Morning News is reporting that Valdez, a Democrat, tendered her resignation to Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins this morning. Valdez was required to resign from her spot in Dallas County, as Texas law prohibits paid elected officials from seeking another office of while continuing to hold office.
Valdez made national news during her most recent term as sheriff, as she butted heads with Governor Greg Abbott over the Dallas County Sheriff's Office's compliance with federal immigration authorities. Valdez is also well-known as she was a keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention in 2016. Valdez is also Texas' first openly-gay sheriff.
Sheriff Valdez's announcement makes the Democratic field swell to seven candidates seeking the office of governor. Those who are also running are: former Balch Springs mayor Cedric Davis, hospice owner Tom Wakely, Dallas businessman Jeffrey Payne, businessman Joe Mumbach, financial advisor Adrian Ocegueda, Garry Brown, Lee Weaver and retired teacher Grady Yarbrough.
Andrew White, a Houston businessman and son of Governor Mark White, is expected to launch a bid for governor tomorrow.
Candidates have until December 11th to file for a spot on the ballot. Primary election day is March 6th.