texas

Lesbian Latina Sheriff Lupe Valdez Running For Texas Governor

Politics  

Donald Trump’s election has shaken a number of progressives from the peaceful complacency they once enjoyed thanks to Barack Obama’s leadership. Like beasts arising from dormancy, they have shed their cozy cocoons of liberalism and roared at the heavens, hungrily devouring each of Donald Trump’s tweets as they regain their energy and prepare for the wars to come. While some of those progressive warriors have appeared in familiar forms (see: Kamala Harris, Cory Booker), others have appeared in the most unlikely of places. Enter: Lupe Valdez, a 70-year-old queer Latina ex-military woman who is running for Governor of Texas.

Though Valdez is not likely to beat Texas’s incumbent straight white dude Greg Abbott, she is considered a frontrunner in the Democratic primary and a key player in the Democratic offensive against Trump.

When Valdez first won the sheriff spot in Dallas in 2004, no one thought she would win — but she still eked out a victory and even mobilized Latinx voters in the process. But still, she persisted.

Similarly, many analysts believe that even if Valdez doesn’t secure the Democratic Governor spot in 2018 and beat Abbott, she’ll still have a mobilizing effect on Latinx voters and encourage them to vote in the crucial 2018 midterm elections (and, later, in the 2020 elections.)

After all, Valdez’s run for sheriff attracted minority voters in not just 2004 but in the many years that followed.

But Valdez will not incorporate her orientation into her campaign.

“Valdez is not defined by her sexual orientation,” says political science professor Mark Jones to the Los Angeles Times. “She’s not Harvey Milk.”

Valdez’s girlfriend, a Dallas chiropractor, will not make any appearances on the campaign trail, which is likely part of an effort to appeal to any Hispanic voters who also happen to be homophobic. (So even though Valdez is out to those in the know, she will essentially be closeted on most of the campaign trail and will play up her family-friendly “grandma” appearance.)

As for her policies, Valdez plans to focus on economic issues affecting the working class and the elderly, such as those who worked their way up from nothing like she did. And while she has not said as much, she will also likely cut down President Trump at every possible opportunity and give us an endless supply of schadenfreude to heal our battered souls.

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