Job description Chief executive of the state of Texas. Term is four years.
Duties Signs or vetoes bills passed by the Texas Legislature.
Calls special sessions of the Legislature.
Appoints the Secretary of State and other positions that oversee state agencies and departments.
Declares special elections to fill vacancies in state elected offices; appoints judges to vacant state and district court positions.
Reports on the condition of the state to the Legislature at the beginning of each session; recommends a state budget.
Grants reprieves, commutations, or pardons upon recommendation of Board of Pardons and Paroles.
Serves as commander-in-chief for state military forces.
Annual salary $153,750
|Greg Abbott (incumbent)|
Note: Candidate answers are shown alphabetically by last name.
What is your current occupation? Educational background? What experiences do you have that make you the best candidate for Governor?
Lupe Valdez: The daughter of migrant farmworkers, I came from humble beginnings and with hard work
and help along the way I obtained a bachelor’s and a master’s, served our country in the
military, and worked in law enforcement for the last 40 years. As Dallas County Sheriff, I
led the 7th largest Sheriff’s Department in the nation, managed over 2,500 employees and
an annual budget of $153 million, and brought sincere reform to make sure anyone
touched by the criminal justice system was treated with respect, dignity, and
What percentage of your campaign donations comes from individuals? What percentage comes from PACs?
Lupe Valdez: Almost every single donation we have received has come from individuals. Our campaign is powered by grassroots donors. We have not received any PAC money.
If elected, what would be the first piece of legislation that you would propose?
Lupe Valdez: School finance reform should be an emergency item in the next session. It should have
been addressed decades ago to ensure schools are able to provide a path for our kids to succeed and take the financial burden off of our local school districts. State investment in our public education has dropped significantly under Republican control. This must be reversed.
SB4, the sanctuary cities law, is currently law in Texas but is under review in the courts. How do you plan to deal with this complex issue?
Lupe Valdez: Last session, I fought back when Republicans passed SB 4, which harms immigrant communities, hurts community policing efforts. I was in Austin eight times testifying and advocating against it. As governor, I will support its repeal.
Over half of the average property tax bill goes towards funding our public schools, which are already suffering from budget shortfalls. How do you plan to address property tax relief vs. school funding?
Lupe Valdez: School finance reform is tied directly to property tax relief. We need to close loopholes and increase state investment in our children’s education. Texans are being priced out of their homes because special interests get breaks that allow them to not pay their share as our state’s population booms.
Should Texas participate in the Medicaid expansion system and why?
Lupe Valdez: I am committed to adopting the Medicaid expansion. If Mike Pence can do it in Indiana, we can too. It is the best deal we are facing and the governor refuses to take it. Every family deserves a family doctor and healthcare they can rely on. I am committed to working to expand Medicaid, adequately funding state mental health facilities, advocating for fixes to the ACA, and stopping the attacks on women’s healthcare. It is the right thing to do and just common sense.
In recent years, scores of women’s health clinics have been closed throughout the state, resulting in millions of Texans lacking access to health care and a shamefully high maternal mortality rate. How would you address the problem of access to healthcare that now confronts Texans, especially women?
Lupe Valdez: We need to stop the attacks on women’s health. As governor, my veto pen will do just that.
Across our state in rural and urban areas, millions of Texans live in medical deserts where healthcare is far away leading to devastating maternal mortality rates. Expanding Medicaid would help keep rural hospitals open and ending the attacks on Planned Parenthood funding would ensure there is healthcare access in many communities.
What would be your priorities for future special sessions?
Lupe Valdez: Texans need to know they have a voice in Austin who will support our families, rein in special interests’ influence, and bring back some sanity. The Legislature must respond to the people’s real needs and focus on issues where we can improve their lives – this includes the economy, accessible healthcare, an equitable education system, and adequate transportation funding.