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Democrat Andrew White, Son Of Late Gov. Mark White, Announces Gubernatorial Bid

HOUSTON — Andrew White, the son of late Gov. Mark White, is making it official Thursday morning: He is running for governor, joining the crowded Democratic primary with four days to go before the filing deadline.

White, 45, a Houston entrepreneur who has never run for office before, is scheduled to announce his campaign, which has been anticipated for weeks, at 9:30 a.m. here. He is expected to pitch himself as a "common sense Democrat" who believes the state's GOP leaders have lurched too far to the right — and as a primary candidate who stands the best chance of triumphing in the general election.

"I’m proud to be Mark White’s son. But I’m not running because I’m his son," White will say, according to prepared remarks provided by the campaign. "I’m running because we need more leaders like Mark White. We need leaders willing to do right and risk their re-election."

Mark White, who was governor from 1983-1987, died of a heart attack in August.

His son's announcement comes a day after Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez entered the race, providing Democrats with their highest-profile candidate for governor yet. White is seen as potentially her closest competition in a contest that also features a half dozen lesser-known Democrats.

Like the rest of the Democratic contenders, White faces long odds in unseating Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who is running for a second term next year. A self-styled "conservative Democrat," White could also encounter resistance in the primary.

The Texas Tribune provided this story.

Patrick Svitek is a reporter for the Texas Tribune. He previously worked for the Houston Chronicle's Austin bureau. He graduated in 2014 from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. He originally is from Fort Wayne, Indiana.