Top Democrats in Texas Governor's race hope to end losing streak
HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Greg Abbott is the Republican leader of a state that has voted red for nearly three decades.
At last count, almost 60 percent of Texans approve of his performance and he has hoarded $40 million to wage political war.
Without question, Abbott is an electoral Goliath.
What remains unanswered is whether Democrats in the Lone Star State can select the perfect underdog.
"Don't forget who won, right?," says Andrew White, a Democrat looking to challenge the incumbent Abbott. "David won that fight."
Son of the late Texas Governor Mark White, 45-year old entrepreneur Andrew insists he can attract both the money and the moderate votes needed to turn back an Abbott-led tide focused on extreme social values at the expense of what he sees as fundamental human needs.
"Why are our schools among the worst in the nation?," asks White. "Why do we lead in health care in all the bad categories? Something just doesn't make sense and it's a lack of leadership at the top."
Preaching unity, former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez believes she would be a better choice at the top of the Democratic ballot with a genuine potential to energize both female and Hispanic turnout.
"I think it’s important that we say to the women, to the little girls, to the Hispanics, to the LGBT, to the Muslims, to whoever, Texas is a good place for you to be," says the 70-year old Valdez
Both front runners vow to bolster struggling public schools and bury divisive initiatives, like the so-called transgender "bathroom bill."
"Of course, we know it's discriminatory and also know it's a job killer," says White. "There's no rational reason to do a bathroom bill in Texas if it weren't for this social extremist agenda they are pursuing."
"I have not seen one crime committed by a transgender in a woman's bathroom, not one," adds Valdez.
And both believe, Abbott is squandering scarce Texas tax dollars, patrolling a border that's already guarded.
"Why should we spend almost a billion of our state money securing the federal borders when our schools need it? " says White.
"You have gunboats going up and down the river," says Valdez. "What are they going to do shoot at the families that are coming across?"