Lupe Valdez becomes first openly gay and first Latina candidate to win a major party nomination for Texas governor

 Leslie Boorhem-Stephenson for The Texas Tribune

After swapping leads early in the Democratic gubernatorial runoff, Lupe Valdez pulled ahead of White and will face incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott.

After a tight race throughout much of the evening Tuesday, Lupe Valdez pulled ahead late to comfortably defeat Andrew White in the Democratic runoff for governor, according to unofficial returns.

Valdez goes into the November general election as the first openly lesbian and first Latina candidate to win a major party gubernatorial nomination in Texas. She told cheering supporters in Dallas that she’s not deterred by conventional wisdom that she faces long odds against Gov. Greg Abbott, a well-funded incumbent.

“Please tell me when I didn’t have an uphill battle,” she said.

Valdez, 70, also said she’s tired of politicians not looking out for everyday people.

“Let me find a path for you,” she said. “Let me find a path for your health care. Let me find a path for your living wage.”

It was a closer race than expected, with Valdez ahead of White by just over 5 percentage points as the final precincts were coming in. By 10 p.m., White had called Valdez and conceded the race.

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