Democrat Lupe Valdez becomes first Latina and openly gay candidate to win runoff for Texas governor

The former sheriff, after her win, said that she was constantly hearing this was going to be such an uphill battle but then she has always had uphill battles to face

                            Democrat Lupe Valdez becomes first Latina and openly gay candidate to win runoff for Texas governor
Lupe Valdez (Getty Images)

Former Dallas sheriff, Lupe Valdez, won the Democratic primary runoff on Tuesday and became the state's first Latina and openly-gay nominee for Texas governor from a major party, according to reports. 

Valdez defeated Houston businessman Andrew White in the Democratic primary. The Associated Press reported that some of the Democrats were concerned about White running for the position of governor, considering his strong pro-life stance. 

The primary race was reportedly closer than was previously expected as Valdez was ahead of White by just over 5 percentage points as the final precincts were coming in. White then called Valdez at around 10 pm and told her that he was conceding the race, according to reports. 

White, while talking to reporters at the Harris County Democratic Party headquarter in Houston, said: "Tonight was a tough, tough night, but I've enjoyed getting to know so many people around this state. I wouldn't trade this for the world."

The businessman also pledged his full support to Valdez and said he is "ready to help in any way I can to give Greg Abbott an early retirement party."

Lupe Valdez attends the HBO Premiere of 'The Out List' at HBO Theater on June 18, 2013 in New York City. (Getty Images)

The former sheriff, after her win, addressed her supporters in Dallas and said: "I am constantly hearing this is going to be such an uphill battle."

"Please, tell me when I didn't have an uphill battle," Valdez said and then discussed her difficulties in earning an education. 

"I am getting darned good at uphill battles," she said, according to the Dallas Morning News. 

Valdez, 70,  is now set to face off against the Republican incumbent Governor Greg Abbott in the general elections. 

Valdez also told her cheering supporters in Dallas that she is not deterred by the conventional wisdom that she faces long odds against Abbott, who is a well-funded incumbent. 

Reports state that the Democratic candidate struggled to raise funds for her primary bid as she did not earn more than $500,000 during her six-month long campaign, while Abbott raised over $41 million as of last month, according to reports. 

The former sheriff also added that she is tired of politicians not looking out for common people and said: "Let me find a path for you. Let me find a path for your health care. Let me find a path for your living wage."