The chair for the Republican Party of Texas is calling on a Dallas County commissioner to not sidestep state law by allowing Sheriff Lupe Valdez to remain on the job while she actively campaigns as a Democratic gubernatorial candidate.
Valdez, who officially filed her candidacy in Austin this week, said she has resigned from her position as Dallas County Sheriff but will remain on the job for now.
“I have resigned and until an appropriate person that has good management skills takes over, I’m still there," said Valdez during her filing event.
Article 16 of the Texas Constitution, which is part of the state’s “Resign to Run” laws said a sheriff who becomes a candidate for another office automatically resigns their position if they have a year or more left in their term.
James Dickey, chair for the Republican Party of Texas, sent Dallas County commissioners a letter, asking that they immediately appoint a replacement for Valdez.
“So that the citizens of Dallas aren’t left without a sheriff or worse yet, they are paying her to be sheriff but they don’t have a sheriff, so they paying her to run for governor," Dickey said.
Mark Jones, professor with Rice University’s Baker Institute of Public Policy, said according to the law, Valdez does not have to vacate her position as sheriff immediately.
“If she chooses to stay on for a short period, that’s a ‘gray area’ and certainly staying on more than a few weeks would be a violation of the Texas Constitution," Jones said.
Jones also said the longer Valdez remains on the job, the more uncertainty and doubt it will likely create about the seriousness of her gubernatorial campaign.