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Parents group refuses to endorse Lupe Valdez for governor, says her campaign is weak

October 4, 2018

AUSTIN — A group of pro-public school parents is doling out political endorsements to dozens of candidates this year but is refusing to back Democrat Lupe Valdez because her campaign for governor is lacking, the group’s co-founder said Thursday.

“She doesn’t meet our criteria for endorsement,” said Dinah Miller, a Texas mom who helped form Texas Parent PAC. “You’ve got to have a really good campaign put together and she just doesn’t have the campaign infrastructure.”

The group won’t endorse Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, either.

Valdez, a former Dallas County sheriff, is running for governor against Abbott, but she has raised less than $1 million to support her candidacy. Meanwhile, Abbott polls well-known among voters and is sitting on a whopping $41 million in campaign funds.

Valdez’ campaign has not responded to a request for comment Thursday afternoon.

THE DEBATE: Gov. Abbott keeps cool as challenger Valdez attacks on education, taxes in debate

Texas Parent PAC endorsed Democrats Mike Collier for lieutenant governor and Justin Nelson for attorney general, saying those candidates are the most critical to improving public education. The group wants to defeat Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton, two conservative Republicans who support school vouchers, which allow parents to send their students to private school with public education funds. Abbott also supports school vouchers.

The group has endorsed a mix of Democrat and Republican 27 incumbents and 27 first-time candidates for the Texas House and Senate. The group boasts helping more than 60 new candidates get elected and 23 incumbents get defeated in 13 years.

VOTER’S GUIDE: Get to know the candidates who want your vote

How Texas funds schools is expected to be one of the most weighty issues that the Legislature will consider in 2019. Some Republican lawmakers have unsuccessfully pushed for school vouchers in 2017.

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