BREAKING: Valdez running for re-election

Sheriff Lupe Valdez

Sheriff Lupe Valdez

Sheriff Lupe Valdez’s office contacted Dallas Voice today (Friday, Jan. 23) to say she WILL be running for re-election in 2016.

A story ran in Instant Tea Jan. 13 in which Pete Schulte announced he would run for the office of Dallas County Sheriff if Valdez decided to not seek re-election as many had expected. Schulte said he had met with Valdez to ask for her support and letting her know he would not run against her should she decide to run.

Raul Reyna, sheriff’s department public information officer, said today, Valdez “will definitely be seeking re-election.”

“Until Sheriff Valdez retires, I will not seek the nomination for Dallas County Sheriff,” Schulte said by phone this morning. “I’m confident Sheriff Valdez will seek re-election, so I will not be doing anything political regarding the sheriff’s race in 2016. Lupe’s doing a great job.”

—  David Taffet

Taffet on the Road from Austin: Day 1 of the 84th Legislature

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Pete Schulte

Dallas Voice’s intrepid reporter David Taffet is on the road today, traveling aboard a bus with friends, family and supporters of state Rep. Eric Johnson, the Dallas Democrats serving District 100. They are all in Austin for the first day of the 84th Legislature and the inauguration of new and returning lawmakers and state officials.

Mechanical problems with the bus before the group ever left Dallas put them a bit behind schedule, but they got there just in time for the swearing-in.

Schulte to run for sheriff

Also on that bus is Dallas attorney Pete Schulte who, David reports, has just announced that he will be running for Dallas County sheriff in 2016, as long as incumbent Sheriff Lupe Valdez retires, as she has said she will do.

Taffet says that the Texas Capitol is packed today, with lines of people waiting to get in at all four main entrances. And according to reports in the Houston Chronicle that most reporters are being turned away, David may be one of the few reporters inside for the swearing-in ceremonies.

Secretary of State speaks

Texas Secretary of State Nandita Berry, appointed by Gov. Rick Perry, acted as emcee of the opening day ceremonies. Berry, from India, is married to a native Texan and their two sons were born in Ethiopia., She spoke about the diversity of the 150 representatives elected by their constituents to be their voice in Austin, mentioning every part of the state — but Dallas.

Villareal declines oath

Temporary House officers were then appointed, after which state senators were sworn in and the House took roll call by district number. Rep. Mike Villareal, from District 123, declined the oath of office to run for mayor of San Antonio, but the rest of the House members took their oaths of office.

Here are a few photos from Johnson’s group, watching the opening day ceremonies from a committee room below the floor of the House.

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—  Tammye Nash

Sheriff Valdez to attend screening of ‘The Out List’ at Eden Lounge

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Sheriff Lupe Valdez

If you haven’t had the chance to catch HBO’s documentary The Out List, featuring Dallas’ own Sheriff Lupe Valdez, you can do so this weekend.

The SOLID Network, which we recently featured in a Dallas Voice cover story, is hosting the event on Eden Lounge’s rooftop.

A meet and greet with Valdez will take place at 7 p.m. Sunday, followed by the screening at 8 p.m. and a discussion at 9 p.m. For information, go here.

SOLID launched its media channel on YouTube this week. Valdez was the first interview and she talks about coming out in a conservative family.

Watch the video below.

—  Dallasvoice

Lupe Valdez makes HBO’s ‘Out List’

outlist01Just in time for National Pride Month, HBO will soon be airing a new documentary called The Out List, and among the gay movers and shakers profiled is Dallas’ own lesbian sheriff, Lupe Valdez. (Others profiled include Suze Orman, Neil Patrick Harris and The Lady Bunny.)

The documentary will received a world premiere screening on Thursday (prior to its debut on HBO on June 27) with a Black Tie Dinner Captains event at the Angelika Film Center at Mockingbird Station. Valdez will be in attendance, along with the film’s director and producers, who will participate in a post-screening discussion.

The event begins with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by the screening at 7.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

PHOTO: Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez sworn in to 3rd term

(Photo courtesy of Brad Watson/WFAA-TV)

Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez was among county elected officials who were sworn in this morning at the Hyatt Regency downtown during a New Year’s Day brunch hosted by the Democratic Party. Valdez, who became Dallas County’s first female, first Hispanic and first lesbian sheriff in 2005, is beginning her third four-year term after defeating Republican Kirk Launius in November.

—  John Wright

Sheriff Valdez speaks at the Round-Up after being re-elected to 3rd term

Sheriff Lupe Valdez receives applause Tuesday night at The Round-Up Saloon after her victory had been declared. (Anna Waugh/Dallas Voice)

With results showing her well ahead of her Republican challenger, lesbian Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez declared victory at the Round-Up Saloon on Tuesday night.

With 330 of 1,000 precincts reporting, Valdez had 58 percent of the vote to Republican Kirk Launius’ 41 percent.

“I’m blessed, I’m honored and continually grateful for the progressiveness of Dallas County,” Valdez told Dallas Voice after addressing the crowd. “This has to be a very progressive county or they wouldn’t keep putting in someone like me continually.”

Admitting that her first term in office was a challenge, Valdez said she has proven herself as sheriff in the change she has brought to the department during her second term.

“It’s not the same department that I got when I went in there. It is totally different,” she said. “So, we’ve done a job of bringing about change. And change is never an easy thing to do. The first four years were quite a struggle but after the second term, things started to flow. We want to continue to build on the progress so we can continue doing a good job.”

—  Dallasvoice

Sheriff Valdez resting at home after being released from hospital

Lesbian Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez is out of the hospital and resting at home after being admitted with back pain and a high fever on Sunday.

“Sheriff Valdez is now resting at home. She was released earlier today,” sheriff’s spokeswoman Carmen Castro told Instant Tea in an email Wednesday afternoon. “Doctors recommended for her to take it easy. The severe back pain was as a result of a combination of past injuries. She is always on the go as I’m sure you know.”

Valdez is seeking a third four-year term in the Nov. 6 election. She faces Republican Kirk Launius. Early voting begins Monday.

—  John Wright

Gay Dallas officials address election challenges, shift in attitude toward gay candidates at forum

From left, Dallas police LGBT Liaison Laura Martin, Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez and former Dallas Councilman John Loza speak about being out officials at a Dallas Pride forum Wednesday, June 20. (Anna Waugh/Dallas Voice)

A couple of Dallas’ out officials discussed the challenges and benefits of running as an out candidate and serving as an open officeholder Wednesday at the third event in the city’s “Honor, Educate and Celebrate” Pride series.

Dallas Sheriff Lupe Valdez, former Councilman John Loza and Dallas police LGBT Liaison Laura Martin, who stepped in last minute for the absent 116th Civil District Court Judge Tonya Parker, were panelists. A group of about 30 sat comfortably in couches in a casual setting at the United Black Ellument Cultural Center and asked questions about campaigns and the importance of out officials.

Valdez touched on the challenges of running as an openly gay candidate. In her first election in 2004, she worried constantly that she would be outed. When her opponent eventually outed her, she said she handled it with care and focused on her experience.

In a story about self-worth, Valdez explained that she received international calls when she first won. When a Collin County woman sitting next to her on a plane recognized her, she began to tell Valdez how she and her family including her gay son watched with pride when Valdez won on election night.

At the end of the flight, she told Valdez that she was her son’s hero and her election validated her son. Valdez said her position shouldn’t validate the LGBT community, but further instill in them a sense of confidence in being who they are.

“We do not need this kind of validation to be who we are,” she said. “We just need to be who we are.”

—  Dallasvoice

BIG SUCCESS

CELEBRATING PROGRESS  | Trial lawyer Lisa Blue Baron, center, was the keynote speaker at the recent Landmark Dinner, benefiting Lambda Legal and marking the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Lawrence v. Texas declaring the Texas sodomy law unconstitutional. The event, held at the W Hotel Dallas, raised more than $120,000, a record for Lambda Legal’s Southwest Regional Office in Dallas. Also during the dinner, American Airlines was presented with the Corporate Equality Award, Jackson Walker was presented with the Law Firm Equality Award and Dr. Mark Parker and Eric Johnson were presented with the Persons of Style Award. Pictured with Baron are Lambda Legal Leadership Committee member Brian Bleeker and Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 2, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

WATCH: Lupe Valdez, Joel Burns, Annise Parker featured in doc on openly LGBT elected officials

Director Cindy L. Abel

Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns and Houston Mayor Annise Parker (you might as well call them the Texas Trio) are among those whose stories will be included in a new feature-length documentary about openly LGBT elected officials. Cindy L. Abel, director of Breaking Through, will visit Dallas on Aug. 17, according to a note we received from publicist Cathy Renna:

“She will be in town to interview two officials who will be featured in the film: Dallas Sheriff Lupe Valdez, the first and only female, Latina, and openly LGBT sheriff in Texas; and Ft. Worth City Councilman Joel Burns, who became an overnight Internet and media sensation earlier this year after a speech before City Council, during which he spoke in support of the ‘It Gets Better’ campaign and shared that he considered suicide after being bullied in high school. The speech led to Burns’ invitation to the White House for an anti-bullying summit this past spring.”

According to the Breaking Through website, the film will focus on “confronting the demons of an openly-LGBT campaign, told by the people who ran and won”:

In this feature-length documentary, openly LGBT elected officials tell their stories of self-doubt and triumph, revealing a deeply personal, rarely-seen side of politicians and gay people.

While each of them had unique barriers to overcome they also had similar feelings of fear, shame and doubt when coming out and later deciding to run for office.

As they share how they broke through barriers, we experience the conflict between the barrage of anti-gay messages and the desire to live open and fulfilled lives. They broke through internally – by daring to believe something different than what they were told about LGBT people – and then externally as they pursued and achieved the future they envision. As they show it is possible to be authentic and achieve their dreams – even in the rough and tough world of politics – they give hope to those who are struggling.

Watch a trailer for the documentary featuring Burns and Parker below.

—  John Wright