Former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez and challenger Andrew White, the son of former Texas Gov. Mark White, are apparently headed to a May 22 runoff for the party nomination for governor.
Valdez has a sizable lead over her Democratic challengers, but that lead has dwindled as more of the precincts report.
White is a self-described "conservative Democrat" who has alienated progressives over his personal opposition to abortion. He said he's the most likely Democrat to beat Greg Abbott in November and he's raised more money than all Democratic challengers combined.
"Democrats are showing up. In the early vote, twice as many Democrats voted today, in 2018, than four years ago, so something is happening and conventional wisdom is going to have to shift because people are angry and angry people vote," White said.
Valdez earned over 60 percent of the voting in her home Dallas County, but White did the same in his home of Harris County.
Valdez, who would be the first Hispanic and openly gay governor in Texas history, addressed supporters Tuesday saying she was humbled so many Texans were giving her the opportunity to bring about change.
"I'm really humbled that so many Texans who are ready for a change are giving me the opportunity to make that change," Valdez said Tuesday night. "The last few months we have discovered that all of Texas is excited and energized about change. My little truck has been through the ringer and has helped us get across the state to hear the people of Texas."
While campaigning, Valdez said she's been visiting two to three cities a day and that she hoped to bring "good government that responds to real issues" to the state capital while helping provide opportunities for Texans to improve no matter where they come from.
"I was able to find a path to success and along the way people would often lend a helping hand. I want to fight to provide that same type of opportunity to the people of Texas," Valdez said. "Texas Democrats got the first chance to push back against hate and we showed up in great numbers to do that. I am humbled, tired and honored and I thank you so much for this opportunity. Now let's get to work."
On the Republican side, incumbent Republican Gov. Greg Abbott easily held off two challengers and secured 90 percent of the vote.
The winner of the May 22 runoff will face Abbott in the general election Nov. 6.