Following Tight Race, Valdez Triumphs in Democratic Race for Governor

After a lackluster race that resulted in a very disappointing 2.8% statewide turnout, former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez Tuesday defeated Houston investor Andrew White to win the Democratic nomination for governor, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Valdez was the overwhelming leader following the March primary, but she had a harder time than expected against White following a series of high profile missteps on the campaign trail.

Valdez overcame strong support for White from White's home town of Houston and won the Democratic nomination with 52% of the vote.

"If you are ready for a Texas where all Texans have a fair shot at a voice in Austin, then join us," Valdez told supporters following her victory early Wednesday.

Valdez, if elected, would become the first Latina and first openly gay Texas governor.

But Rice University political analyst Mark Jones tells News Radio 1200 WOAI that election won't happen.

"She has no possibility whatsoever of winning in November," Jones said.  "She gets to campaign on until November with the certain fact that she is going to lose."

In Greg Abbott, Valdez will face by far the state's most popular, and most powerful, statewide elected official.Abbott's positive ratings regularly top 70% among Texas, and his star has only shone brighter following his strong performance handling the Hurricane Harvey disaster.

Abbott is also by far the most prolific fundraiser in Texas, with more than $50 million in campaign cash on hand.

Abbott has so much money at his disposal, he even donated cash to efforts to defeat Republican state lawmakers who opposed his conservative priorities in the 2017 Legislature, something unseen before in Texas politics.

Jones says one of the reasons why the Democratic turnout was so weak was because of a lack of strong candidates with known name recognition.

"We aren't seeing Mike Rawlings or Julian Castro or Joaquin Castro," he said.  "It is left to Lupe Valdez to pick up the mantle in what is certain to be a dramatic loss."

Both candidates were pounded for their lack of experience, and Valdez also took hits for her apparently lack of understanding of the duties of the governor.In addition, Valdez even angered a Latina Democrats group, which should be her key target demographic, after she fumbled a question at a rally over her cooperation with federal immigration officials during her term as Dallas County Sheriff.

White is the son of eighties Gov. Mark White, and his claims on the campaign trail to be a 'conservative Democrat' were pounded by a Democratic Party which is turning more and more to the left as a response to the Trump Administration.

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