Democratic gubernatorial candidate Lupe Valdez owes $12,000-plus in overdue property taxes on seven properties, a previously unreported shortfall that could prove embarrassing as she tries to unseat Republican Greg Abbott in November.
The Houston Chronicle reports that Valdez's campaign acknowledges that she owes back property taxes, but is paying them back in installments. The full amount isn't due until January.
In a statement Thursday, Valdez campaign spokesman Juan Bautista Dominguez said it was an example of property taxes being "unpredictable and burdensome for Texans everywhere," and blamed Abbott's lack of leadership on the issue.
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"Sheriff Valdez has made arrangements to payoff 2017 property taxes and plans to do so entirely in the coming months," Dominguez said. "In previous years, she had made similar arrangements and fulfilled them."
Valdez, a former Dallas County sheriff, won a primary runoff Tuesday to become Texas' first openly gay and Hispanic gubernatorial candidate.
She's not expected to seriously challenge Abbott. Texas hasn't elected a Democratic governor since 1990.