On May 22, Texas Democrats will decide who they want as their candidate in the race for governor – Houston businessman Andrew White or former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez.
While some voters may still be undecided, a potentially influential, one-year-old organization of young Hispanic Texans has decided not to endorse Valdez. The name of the group is JOLT and Cristina Tzintzún is its executive director.
“It was a really hard decision for JOLT,” she says. “Our endorsement committee is majority comprised of Latino students from our different chapters across the state and they knew about Sheriff Valdez’s record on immigration, that while she was sheriff she had helped bring in policies that led to the deportation of many families and caused a lot of harm and pain in the Dallas area for many Latino and immigrant families.”
Tzintzún says Valdez failed to answer questions on that issue at the candidate forum. The organization chose to endorse Andrew White because they felt they could push him more on their policy issues.
“To be clear,” she says, “we see Andrew White’s border security company as a liability, not as an asset, and would encourage him if he ultimately does become the gubernatorial candidate to divest from his border security company since he would be in a position to oversee the state’s budget and priorities along the border and its expenses.”
Tzintzún says JOLT’s endorsement is a reflection of young Latinos’ commitment to their political values.
“They’re willing to make the hard choices to be able to win their community respect,” she says.
Written by Angela Bonilla.