Lupe Valdez, a former Dallas county sheriff, is a Latina and openly lesbian women who has been nominated as the Democratic nominee for governor. With her experience as the sheriff of the seventh largest sheriff department of the country and 13 years of service, it seems safe to assume that she is well-qualified to run for governor.
At first glance, she seems to be the best choice: a progressive who can finally make the voices of minorities heard by speaking up for these communities. While that may be the platform that she uses to establish a connection with fellow Latinos and minorities, her cooperation with federal immigration authorities to detain immigrants has led some activists to question or even completely redact their support. With the ongoing issues that undocumented immigrants have been forced to become accustomed to and the national outrage that it has caused, Valdez’s cooperation speaks against her support of the immigrant community and her policies.
When the question was raised at a forum by Karla Quinones about Valdez’s cooperation with the federal immigration authorities, she answered by stating that she will try to fight for immigration as much as possible, but immigration is a federal issue. The surface level answer to a question that plays an important role within her platform has led to a personal storm for Valdez with many Americans questioning her policies.
Furthermore, during her time as sheriff, Ms. Valdez was accused of civil rights violations in a lawsuit. Leaders of groups such as JOLT, a statewide organization of young Latinos, and the youth branch of Houston’s Stonewall Democrats, an LGBT organization, have refused to endorse her due to these allegations and her actions during her term as sheriff. Valdez later rectified her mistake by adding in another interview that she could not have answered in a profound manner due to the ongoing lawsuits involving the sheriff’s office immigration policies. However some still remain skeptical.
Much like the election in 2016, the question remains: who would the people choose when both opponents do not seem right for the position and have trouble fulfilling their needs? It is a question that only time and, of course, the election can answer.