In a one-on-one interview with NBC 5, Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Lupe Valdez acknowledges her campaign has taken a little time to get going but says there is "excitement and energy" everywhere she goes.
“Fundraising and getting the staff and everything else. We had a slow start, but you know that does not affect me,” said Valdez, the former Dallas County Sheriff.
Valdez's campaign has added consultants and a new campaign manager. Monday she announced that Bill Romjue, a longtime Democratic strategist who has worked on presidential campaigns, has the job.
Most recently, Romjue was part of U.S. Sen. Doug Jones' team that ousted Roy Moore in Alabama.
The University of Texas and Texas Tribune released a poll Monday showing Valdez with 43 percent of the vote to Andrew White's 24 percent. There are nine Democrats in the primary race.
Her main big-name opponent is White, a Houston businessman and son of late Texas Governor Mark White.
With $138,632 raised in the last fundraising period and $168,502.21 cash on hand, White is ahead of Valdez in the money department. On top of that, he loaned himself $1 million.
Valdez raised $43,529 in the last fundraising period and has $83,876.03 cash on hand.
White thinks his fundraising ability sets him apart from other Democrats in a field of nine challengers. We asked Valdez about that.
“His having more funds does not affect me. This election is not going to be bought. It’s going to be done by the grassroots folks and that is where we are at,” Valdez added.
When asked why voters should cast their ballots for her, Valdez said she's the "common people candidate" who has experience in politics, the latter White cannot claim. She added the top priority of her campaign will be education.
As to how she would get changes with a Republican House and Senate? Valdez she's got experience in that area too.
"You know, when I first came in, Dallas was totally Republican. I was the only Democrat that was working with them. You have to sit down at the table and bring in both sides,” said Valdez.
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The Texas primary election will be held March 6. Early voting in the primary begins Feb. 20 and runs until March 2. Primary runoffs, if needed, will be May 22. The general election is Nov. 6.