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Top Stories: Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez Will Resign, Make Her Bid For Governor Official

Christopher Connelly
Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez at the Annie's List luncheon in Dallas last month.

The top local stories this morning from KERA News:

In a statement this morning, Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez says she will resign and file for governor at the Texas Democratic Party headquarters in Austin later this morning.

Elected in 2004, Valdez is the state's first gay female Hispanic sheriff. She’s also the daughter of farm workers, an Army veteran, a former federal prison jailer and a former senior agent with U.S. Customs.

If she wins her Democratic primary, it won't be the first time she and Governor Greg Abbott will have clashed. In 2015, Abbott took issue with Dallas County tweaking a policy that limited how long it detains immigrants who commit minor offenses before turning them over to federal immigration officials. Abbott criticized the move as a sanctuary city policy.

Valdez will have other challengers in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, including Dallas businessman Jeffrey Payne, former congressional candidate Tom Wakely of San Antonio and former Balch Springs Mayor Cedric Davis. Andrew White, son of the late Democratic governor Mark White, is also expected to announce his candidacy in the coming days.

Other stories this morning:

  • Republican efforts in Congress to change the tax code include a repeal of the individual mandate - which requires everyone to purchase health insurance. Texas has the highest percentage of people paying a tax penalty for not having insurance.
  • Two years after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office opened a satellite office in Dallas, the agency has done much more than chip away at a backlog of inventions.

You can listen to North Texas stories weekdays at 8:22 a.m. and 6:20 p.m. on KERA 90.1 FM. 

Former KERA staffer Krystina Martinez was an assistant producer. She produced local content for Morning Edition and She also produced The Friday Conversation, a weekly series of conversations with North Texas newsmakers. Krystina was also the backup newscaster for the Texas Standard.