Editor's note: This story has been updated
Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez will resign her office so she can challenge Greg Abbott in 2018, according to Dallas County Democratic Chair, Carol Donovan.
Valdez has talked about the need for new leadership at the state level. She was even a featured speaker at the 2016 democratic national convention in Philadelphia.
Donovan told WFAA that Valdez will resign effective next Friday Dec. 8. The deadline to file to be a candidate is Dec. 11.
Dallas County Sherrif's office on Wednesday night that Valdez has not submitted any official resignation paperwork and will make a final decision about her political future shortly.
“As she has stated in the past, the Sheriff is considering the next stage in her career," said the spokeswoman Melinda Urbina. "A letter of resignation was not submitted today. The Sheriff will make a formal announcement when her final decision is made.”
Valdez told The Texas Tribune earlier this month that she was exploring a challenge to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. He's seeking a second term in 2018.
Democrats have been looking for a serious gubernatorial contender ahead of the Dec. 11 deadline for candidates to file for the 2018 primaries. So far only little-known Democrats have lined up to take on Abbott.
Last month, Valdez told the Tribune she believes it's "time for a change" in GOP-dominated state government.
"Too much of one thing corrupts, and I'm a strong believer in a two-party system," she said. "I'm hoping that enough people are seeing that too much one-sided is not healthy for Texas."
First elected in 2004, Valdez is serving her fourth term as sheriff of Dallas County, the second most populous county in the state and a Democratic stronghold. Her election in Dallas made national news because she became the first openly gay female sheriff in the state, and the only Hispanic female sheriff in the country.
The list of other candidates exploring a run includes Dallas businessman Jeffrey Payne and Tom Wakely, a former congressional candidate from San Antonio.
Andrew White, the son of late Gov. Mark White, has been exploring a run for a number of weeks. Amid reports that Valdez was running, White said he is "full steam ahead" with preparations for a potential run and will have an announcement next week.