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Openly gay Latina wins democratic primary in historically conservative state

Photo credit: Tatyana Okhitina /

In Texas, one of the most notoriously Republican states in the nation, earlier this week an openly gay Latina, Lupe Valdez, was selected as the first-ever openly gay and Latina gubernatorial nominee from a major party.

In an interview with The Hill, the 70-year-old openly gay Latina understands what she’s up against in November and is ready for the challenge: “Please, tell me when I didn’t have an uphill battle … I am getting darned good at uphill battles.”

On Tuesday, she went head-to-head with Andrew White, son of former Texas governor Mark White, where she only barely beat him in the runoff election. While her confidence is admirable, perhaps it should be tempered given the battle she faces against the incumbent, Governor Greg Abbott (R), who is not only well-liked in Texas but also very well-funded.

While moving speeches and stern confidence can get you far, it will take much more than that to win the hearts of a state as staunchly Republican and conservative as Texas. According to The Hill, even in the primary runoff, monetary funding has been a bit of an issue for her, as she failed to raise even $500K within a six-month-long campaign while Governor Greg Abbott has, as of last month, raised a little over $41M. If the dollars equate to votes, then Lupe, former Dallas County sheriff, has quite a bit more ground to cover before the general election. Many may remember another candidate that back in 2012, Mary E. Gonzalez an openly gay Latina, won a Democratic primary for the Texas House of Representatives.