Announcement puts to rest rumors Democrats are seeking another candidate for primary
Rumors have been swirling recently that members of the Dallas County Democratic Party might be shopping for a candidate to put up against besieged Sheriff Lupe Valdez in the March 2008 primary.
But those rumors were largely silenced this week, when Valdez’s campaign announced a throng of endorsements from top Democratic elected officials.
Those who have endorsed Valdez include state Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, County Commissioner John Wiley Price and District Attorney Craig Watkins.
“The Democratic leadership is not shopping around for anybody,” said Kirk McPike, Valdez’s campaign manager. “I’ve heard these rumors as well, but I don’t know what they’re referring to.
“Those folks are all on board with us,” McPike added. “I don’t know who the, quote-unquote, party would be that is looking around for candidates.”
The Dallas County Republican Party has made Valdez, who in 2004 became the first Democrat to win the sheriff’s race in three decades, its No. 1 target in 2008. And recent media reports detailing ongoing issues within Valdez’s department have led to questions about her re-electability.
Three Republicans already have indicated they plan to run for sheriff. They are former Irving Police Chief Lowell Cannaday, Cockrell Hill Police Chief Catherine Smit and Mesquite Police Lt. Charlie Richmond.
Democrat Peter Shulte, a county prosecutor and political newcomer, has said he plans to challenge Valdez in the Democratic primary.
The filing period for the election begins Dec. 1 and ends Jan. 2.
Other Democratic elected officials who’ve endorsed Valdez are County Judge Jim Foster, District Clerk Gary Fitzsimmons, County Treasurer Joe Wells, and state Reps. Roberto Alonzo, Rafael Anchia and Terri Hodge.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 17, 2007