HOUSTON — Andrew White, the son of late Gov. Mark White, is made it official Thursday morning: He is running for governor, joining the crowded Democratic primary with four days to go before the filing deadline.
White, 45, a Houston entrepreneur who has never run for office before, pitched himself in a speech here as a “common sense Democrat” who believes the state’s GOP leaders have lurched too far to the right — and as a primary candidate who stands the best chance of triumphing in the general election.
“I’m proud to be Mark White’s son. But I’m not running because I’m his son,” White said, according to prepared remarks provided by the campaign. “I’m running because we need more leaders like Mark White. We need leaders willing to do right and risk their re-election.”
Mark White, who was governor from 1983-1987, died of a heart attack in August.
His son’s announcement comes a day after Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez entered the race, providing Democrats with their highest-profile candidate for governor yet. White is seen as potentially her closest competition in a contest that also features a half dozen lesser-known Democrats.
Like the rest of the Democratic contenders, White faces long odds in unseating Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who is running for a second term next year. A self-styled “conservative Democrat,” White could also encounter resistance in the primary.
More than 100 people attended White’s announcement, including state Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston. Coleman said he was supporting White’s gubernatorial bid.