Jeffrey Payne seems to be earnest and thoughtful, he’s been campaigning since last fall. Payne is an entrepreneur who owns a wide range of businesses including a court reporting operation and a bar among others. I’m confident he has the best interests of Texas at heart, I think he genuinely cares. My problem with him as a potential governor is he lacks any governmental experience at all.
Tom Wakely is a long time activist, I’ve met him several times over the last few years. Wakely ran for congress unsuccessfully last term, he too has been actively campaigning since last fall. Wakely has made numerous trips around the state and is actively seeking support in some of the more forgotten communities in Texas. His strong populist message deserves the attention of all Democrats and especially voters in underserved communities where raising the minimum wage and treating health care as a human right would go a long way toward improving life. Wakely is a Viet Nam era Air Force veteran and a former union organizer who worked with Cesar Chavez in San Antonio in the 1970’s. He now runs a hospice for the terminally ill. Wakely’s only weakness is that he has no experience in government at any level.
Lupe Valdez is a retired U.S. Army captain, she’s been a federal agent and a four term Sheriff of Dallas County. Valdez is from a large family of migrant farm workers. Her parents taught her to work hard and the value of education which is why she believes we have to invest in Texans and help them find their path whether that’s university without massive debt, free community college, trade skills, or the tools to start a small business. Valdez believes health care is a human right and is committed to expanding Medicaid, passing paid family and sick leave, stopping the attacks on women's healthcare, and ending the medical deserts in urban and rural Texas. Having been elected four times she knows how to campaign and win and having served in public office for over 12 years she has experience in government. I think she’s a solid candidate.
Andrew White is only on this list because he’s generated big money in campaign contributions. White is an entrepreneur like Payne above who has no experience in governance and unlike Wakely has shown no interest in working to make Texas better. When first exploring whether or not to run he publicly stated that he could see himself running as a conservative Democrat or a moderate Republican. That tells me all I need to know as he doesn’t stand for anything. Perhaps he feels entitled as he is the son of former Texas governor Mark White.
Cedric Davis, Sr. is a Desert Storm veteran, as well as civic activist, policeman, teacher, civic leader and the first African American Mayor of Balch Springs near Dallas. Davis wants to raise minimum wage, expand Medicaid by taking the nearly $100 billion available to Texas under the Affordable Care Act. Davis says he’ll work to restore state funding for public education and believes criminal justice reform is an important part of making Texas a better place.