Sheriff Turned Governor Candidate Responds to Critics of Weekend Forum

Wednesday night former Dallas County Sheriff turned candidate for Governor, Lupe Valdez, met with supporters in Dallas. With just two weeks before the run-off election, Lupe Valdez is trying to clarify her position on immigration after admitting she failed to answer a question adequately during a weekend forum in Austin.

"As young Latinos, we have some questions of our own" said 18-year old Karla Quinones, who asked a pointed question of the former sheriff during the Jolt forum. Jolt is a group that mobilizes young Latino voters. "I definitely wanted an answer about why she opened up the door for I.C.E., being a Latina herself." 

Valdez's answer talked about immigration as a national issue. It kept her from getting Jolt's endorsement for Governor. The group instead endorsed democrat Andrew White. 

"We obviously would have loved to endorse her," said Quinones, who is with the W.T. White High School Jolt chapter. "But we can't back somebody who is turning their backs on their own community." 

Earlier this week, Valdez issued an apology, saying her answer fell short.

"A young woman asked me a question at a forum over the weekend regarding my track record, and she did not get the answer she deserved," Valdez's statement read. "I am sorry and I understand why people are so disappointed."

Wednesday night, Valdez tried to clarify her position on I.C.E to reporters. "Even now, I don't know that you have any say about I.C.E. being in or out of your jail," Valdez explained. "But let me say this very clearly. I am the only candidate that fought for anti-immigration policies before I started running for Governor." 

Valdez announced she will debate White in Austin on May 11.

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