A Hispanic female ex-sheriff has won the Democratic runoff to become the first openly gay and first Latina nominated for governor.
While Lupe Valdez's victory Tuesday breaks barriers, the 70-year-old former Dallas County sheriff faces long odds of ousting Republican Gov. Greg Abbott this fall.
"Together we're going to make it happen -- a stronger and fairer Texas. A tolerant and diverse Texas. A Texas where the everyday person has a voice and a fair shot just as I did," Valdez said late Tuesday night.
She defeated Andrew White, the son of a former governor who pitched himself as a moderate Democrat in deep-red Texas.
"Lupe has my well wishes to put together a winning campaign," White said. He said he called Valdez and gave her his full support.
The runoff generated little enthusiasm among Democrats. Valdez has struggled to raise money and fumbled some questions on policy. Party activists have also attacked her for cooperating with federal immigration agents as sheriff.