Former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez faces current Dallas County Sheriff Marian Brown in a runoff to determine who will hold the office for the next four years


Early voting in the Texas Primary Election runoffs continues through Friday, May 24. Runoff election day is Tuesday, May 28. Races of particular interest to LGBTQ Texans include the race between openly LGBTQ former Sheriff Lupe Valdez and current Sheriff Marian Brown to determine who will be Dallas County sheriff for the next four years and the runoff between former Dallas City Councilman David Blewett and Darrell Day to determine who will face Democrat state Rep. Julie Johnson in November in the race for the District 32 U.S. House seat.

Several Texas House Republican incumbents who defied Gov. Greg Abbott’s insistence on approving highly unpopular school vouchers and/or voted to impeach criminally-indicted Texas AG Ken Paxton were primaried by opponents with Abbott’s and Paxton’s backing. Among those facing runoffs are House Speaker Dade Phelan who came in second in the Primary to David Covey, and state Rep. Justin Holland of Heath who faces Katrina Pierson in the runoff.


The Human Rights Campaign this week launched its 2024 voter education and engagement campaign, “We Show Up: Equality Wins,” aiming to reach 75 million identified “equality voters” nationwide, including 4.1 million in Texas.

The campaign, according to a press release issued Monday, May 20, is intended “not only work to defeat escalating anti-trans attacks, but also mobilize equality voters this November to deliver resounding electoral victories for LGBTQ and pro-equality candidates.” The press release notes that its near 70 percent favorability rating demonstrates “the importance of HRC’s voice to help drive equality voters to the polls to vote for pro-equality candidates.”

HRC considers Texas “an important battleground for advancing equality” but points out that the Lone Star State :”tragically remains the state with the highest number of anti-trans murders in the nation, including the recent murder of Diamond Brigman, a 36-year old Black trans woman, in Houston.”

“Make no mistake, LGTBQ+ voters and our allies, are going to make the difference in the 2024 elections. With everything at stake, we have no other choice,” said Kelley Robinson, HRC President. “Trump and his MAGA allies are promising a hate-filled agenda that hurts everyone who doesn’t look and live like them. They think they can bully and scare us and take away our fundamental freedoms. But the LGBTQ+ community has won these hard fights before, and we refuse to go back.

“In 2020, LGBTQ+ people, young people, women, and people of color came together to drive Trump from office. This November, HRC is going to make sure we do it again. Because when we show up, equality wins,” Robinson said.

This election cycle marks continued growth for the “geographically diverse, multiracial and multigenerational coalition of identified equality voters in Texas,” now 4.1 million strong, up dramatically from 2.1 million in 2022 and 1.6 million in 2016, according to HRC. Equality voters are “united by the advancement of LGBTQ+ equality and are younger, more racially diverse and more female than the general electorate.”

Read more about the 75 million Equality Voters here.

Nationally, HRC announced a $15 million strategic investment to reach voters through hired staff, field efforts, events, paid advertising, mobilization, and grassroots engagement in the key battleground states of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The organization is also working to elect LGBTQ+ congressional candidates in California, Delaware, New York and Texas to help flip the House of Representatives.

HRC has had a state director in Texas for several years and will hire two additional full-time staff to organize a field operation across the state, including 750 canvass and phone/text bank shifts, 25,000 volunteer recruitment calls and 20 trainings and events to engage HRC members. HRC will also engage in voter registration, LGBTQ+ education and accountability campaigns, initiatives to strengthen poll worker recruitment and other educational efforts to ensure everyone can exercise their right to vote.

A 2024 Equality Voter Survey conducted by GQR found:

  • 80 percent of equality voters are highly motivated to vote, driven more by issues and causes than partisan politics and more by their search for candidates who share their values than those who share their party affiliation.
  • 22 percent of equality voters would vote for a third-party presidential candidate, demonstrating that third-party voting poses a risk to the re-election of President Joe Biden and Vice President Harris if the election were held today.
  • Third-party equality voters are not at risk of voting for Donald Trump
  • ½ of third-party voters will support President Biden if they come to understand their vote helps elect Donald Trump.

For more information, visit

— Tammye Nash