2018 Texas Disability Issues Forum Invited Candidates
- Greg Abbott (incumbent) [R] Candidate Website
- Lupe Valdez [D] **Confirmed to Attend!** Candidate Website
Lupe Valdez’s story is the story of Texas. She has lived the Texas dream and is running for governor to ensure ALL Texans have an opportunity and a fighting chance. She grew up the daughter of migrant farm workers in the poorest neighborhood in San Antonio – but because she got a quality public education, served in the United States military, was able to earn a living wage, and had access to healthcare, she had a fighting chance. Lupe is a veteran, a former federal agent, a 4-term Sheriff of Dallas County – and she’s not done fighting for Texans yet. With her nomination, she has become the first openly LGBTQ and Latina major party candidate for Governor in Texas and in the US. Her candidacy is a signal to every child that no matter the color of your skin, who you love, or where you come from, in Texas, you should have a fair shot. Lupe is running to give the everyday Texan a voice in Austin and a fair shot – just like she had.
- Dan Patrick (incumbent) [R] Candidate Website
- Mike Collier [D] **Confirmed to Attend!** Candidate Website
Mike Collier is a proven business leader with an unblemished record of integrity and service. He is committed to excellent public education, reforming school funding, making property taxes fair again, and genuine fiscal responsibility. Mike went to high school in Georgetown, Texas and was first chair trumpet in the 1979 Texas All-State Symphony Orchestra. He went to UT, marched in the Longhorn Band, and started his career at Exxon Corporation. He later earned an MBA from UT before joining Price Waterhouse (now PwC) where he became a senior partner. Mike and his wife Suzanne met at UT and have been married almost 29 years. They have two sons (and a wonderful daughter-in-law from Brazil), both of whom attended public schools, graduated from UT, and moved back to the Houston area and are close to Mom and Dad. Mike ran for Texas Comptroller in 2014 on the Democratic Ticket and served as Finance Chair for the Texas Democratic Party until March, 2017.
- Ken Paxton (incumbent) [R] Candidate Website
- Justin Nelson [D] **Confirmed to Attend!** Candidate Website
Justin Nelson is a husband, father of three, lawyer, professor at UT Law School, and the proud product of Houston public schools. He’s running for Texas Attorney General on three simple values: fairness, justice, and integrity. This election will come down to a choice: who should we hire as the lawyer for the state of Texas? Justin will represent ALL Texans and work to ensure that everyone is treated equally under the law. Committed to combating gerrymandering, fighting consumer fraud, and standing up to corruption, Justin will protect our most vulnerable citizens.
Now available: Justin Nelson’s Candidate Survey Response
- Ted Cruz (incumbent) [R] Candidate Website
- Beto O’Rourke [D] ** Confirmed to Attend!** Candidate Website
Beto O’Rourke is a fourth-generation Texan, born and raised in El Paso. After graduating from Columbia University, Beto worked in New York for a few years before deciding to move back to his hometown and start a small technology company. Outside of work, Beto became deeply involved in the civic, business and community efforts in El Paso. He ran for El Paso City Council in 2005 and served for two terms before running for U.S. Congress in 2012. In Congress, Beto serves on the House Committees for Armed Services and Veterans Affairs. Much of his focus has been on improving the ability for veterans to get the health care — and other earned benefits — that they need. He’s also been focused on curbing the influence of corporate money in Congress.
Now available: Beto O’Rourke’s Candidate Survey Response
Patrick Svitek is the primary political correspondent for The Texas Tribune, and editor of The Blast, the Tribune’s subscription-only daily newsletter for political insiders. Patrick logged countless miles on the 2016 campaign trail, covering the many Texas angles of the momentous presidential race. He previously worked for the Houston Chronicle’s Austin bureau. He graduated in 2014 from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. He originally is from Fort Wayne, Indiana.
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