Democrat Lupe Valdez talks about Harvey recovery as gubernatorial runoff approaches

HOUSTON – One issue on the minds of many voters in the greater Houston area is the recovery from Hurricane Harvey. Political leaders have already said rebuilding and flood prevention will cost billions of dollars.

Former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez said she supports using money from the state's rainy day fund to help pay the bill.

"I almost want to yell to the legislators, it's raining. This fund was meant for several things, including disaster. We need to take some of that to help Houston," Valdez said.

Valdez is in a runoff against Houstonian Andrew White to be the Democrat to face Gov. Greg Abbott, the Republican candidate, this fall.  Valdez said Gov. Abbott should have done more, sooner for flood victims.

“What can you say about a governor that will call a special session for bathrooms but doesn't call one when people are hurting?" Valdez said.

Texas Southern University assistant professor of political science and public administration Jay Aiyer says the Democratic runoff race is tight, but he said the winner will have a tough race against Abbott in November.

"He has a substantial advantage in terms of money. But you know, he's popular. He has over 50 percent approval rating statewide ... one of the highest among statewide candidates here in Texas," Aiyer said.