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It’s an uphill battle for Lupe Valdez, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Texas, a state that hasn’t elected a Democrat to statewide office in nearly half a century.

But Valdez is used to uphill battles — she’s the state’s first openly gay and first Latina sheriff. Valdez joined NBC News THINK, NBC OUT and NBC LATINO to talk about a range of issues including healthcare, the importance of fostering trust between members of law enforcement and the community and the challenges of running as a Democrat in a conservative state like Texas.

Watch the full interview with Valdez above.