Openly gay democratic candidate for Texas governor, Lupe Valdez last week called for a "new Texas" that would put residents ahead of controversial policies like the sanctuary cities law, proposed bathroom bills other issues she said are on the fringe.
"We must begin to start gathering like-minded people who believe in doing good for Texas and bring them together to begin to make a change," Valdez said during at speech at the Tyler Station in Oak Cliff. "We have to have a campaign that gives hope to all, hope for a better life in a greater Texas."
Valdez's remarks were not-so veiled shots at incumbent Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who made passing the controversial sanctuary cities law a top priority. And Abbott supported lawmakers in their failed effort to approved legislation that would restrict the bathrooms transgender residents could use.
Valdez called Abbott's priorities "fake issues."
"They have made up issues, bathrooms, sanctuary cities, massive voter fraud, Jade Helm. Who doesn't remember all these silly things?" she said. "It would be amusing, if it wasn't causing so much harm."
"Enough with the hate and the bickering," she said. "Together we need to build something new, a new Texas, a Texas where a child in the Rio Grande Valley can reach their dreams just as easy as a child in the great city of Dallas."
She said she wanted to be a part of a movement of candidates that worked for Texans, not special interest groups.
"I'm running because I want to be the people's candidate and bring back some common sense to government," she said.
Valdez resigned as sheriff last month to mount an underdog campaign against Abbott, the Republican incumbent who in 2014 beat Democrat Wendy Davis by 20 percentage points.
Using her personal experiences to gather traction she recounted her childhood, where she dreaded bringing home a teacher's list of essential, costly supplies for fear her parents would take her out of school.
"I dreaded bringing that list from school because I knew as soon as I presented it to my parents there would be a heated discussion, if I should stay in school, considering the cost that it was bringing to the household," Valdez said. "No child should have to lay in bed listening to that discussion."
"All along the way, and in every situation, there was somebody who encouraged me and even helped me along the way," she said. "That is what we need to be doing for Texas. We should be lending a hand up, not tearing them down. Instead of bringing fear, anxiety and disruption to the people, we must be the type of state that helps people get a fair shot and a chance at finding their path in life."
Whilst her campaign is in the early stages and operating out of her residence, she believes she will emerge victorious in the primary and go on the win the position of Governor.