The endorsement comes as part of Giffords’ #VoteCourage Campaign to elect gun reform candidates nationwide
Washington, DC – Giffords, the gun safety organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Captain Mark Kelly, announced its endorsement of Sheriff Lupe Valdez, candidate for Governor of Texas. Valdez is one of 11 candidates Giffords endorsed today as part of its #VoteCourage campaign to elect gun safety champions, and joins a growing list of endorsed candidates supported by Giffords in 2018.
As Sheriff, Valdez has first-hand experience dealing with the implications of gun violence. That’s why she joined the Giffords Law Enforcement Coalition, where she has been a vocal advocate for meaningful changes to address the gun violence epidemic in our country. If elected as Texas’ next governor, she has vowed to close loopholes that allow convicted stalkers and domestic abusers from legally purchasing guns.
“Law enforcement and first responders like Sheriff Valdez know how a firearm ending up in the wrong hands can lead to tragedy,” said former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, co-founder of Giffords. “Sheriff Valdez also knows that both law enforcement and elected officials play a pivotal role in keeping our communities safe from gun violence. As Sheriff, Valdez worked tirelessly to protect Dallas residents, and we know that as Governor of Texas, she will work hard, day in and day out, to fight for strong laws that will protect Texas families from senseless gun violence.”
Sheriff Lupe Valdez said, “I am honored to receive the endorsement of Giffords. Congresswoman Giffords and her inspiring organization are on the front lines of fighting for common sense changes to help keep our communities safer from gun violence. Throughout my 42 year career in law enforcement, I have witnessed the scourge of gun violence across our country. I have done what I can to speak up on behalf of common sense gun safety measures like universal background checks, closing loopholes, and ensuring domestic abusers don’t have access to weapons, and I will continue those fights as Governor.”
In February, Giffords launched the #VoteCourage campaign aimed at electing gun safety advocates and defeating politicians who have historically worked against gun reform, or done nothing at all to prevent gun violence. The political program is targeting incumbents in mostly suburban districts and uses a mixture of TV and digital advertising, on-the-ground organizing, and a voter registration push to create momentum for meaningful progress on gun safety.
The mass shooting at Parkland, Florida crystallized the country’s frustration with the lack of action to pass gun safety laws. Currently, the country is averaging nearly 34,000 deaths from guns every year, and recent polling shows that support for stronger gun laws is at an all-time high.