Chief Deputy Marian Brown, former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez's third in command, will serve as interim sheriff until voters elect a new one in November. Valdez is stepping down to run for governor. Brown, a 29-year law enforcement veteran in her fourth year with the sheriff's office, is running as a Democrat to replace Valdez.
The Dallas County Commissioners Court voted 5-0 to select Brown for the post. Valdez told reporters Tuesday that Brown has the right attributes to finish out the term and to be elected sheriff next year.
"She's accountable. She's responsible. She's professional. She's diplomatic," Valdez said.
Brown, a Dallas native, joined the Duncanville Police Department in 1988. She was the first black woman hired by the department. She served the department for 26 years, focusing on community policing and relations, and was named assistant chief of police in 2007. In 2014, she resigned from Duncanville and joined the sheriff's office as a chief deputy. Brown is married to KDFW-TV (Fox 4) reporter Shaun Rabb.
The new interim sheriff said Tuesday that she decided to get into law enforcement while she was enrolled in college at the University of Texas at Arlington.
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"Law enforcement got in my blood. I wanted to do this. I was still a senior in college, and I had to figure out how to tell my mother, 'Well, I think I want to do something different. I know you spent your money on this, but I think I want to do something different,'" Brown said. "I anticipated I would spend a year a get it out of my system. ... That never happened. Twenty-nine years later, it's still in my system."
Brown is one of two Democrats running to replace Valdez. The other is Dallas County Precinct 4 Constable Roy Williams Jr. Two Republicans, Aaron Meek and Chad Prda are running for their party's nomination in the upcoming March 6 primary.
Williams told reporters Tuesday that he wished the commissioners would've selected someone who wasn't a candidate for sheriff to fill in for Valdez so the primary kicked off on a level playing field.
"All of us would like to run for the office from the office," he said. "I would've appreciated having the same opportunity, but it didn't work out that way."