Friedman tried in 2006 to become the first independent to win the Texas governorship since Sam Houston.
"I consider myself a Democrat in the mold of JFK, (former Texas Gov.) Ann Richards and (journalist) Molly Ivins," Friedman told The Fort Worth Star-Telegram in a phone interview from his animal-rescue ranch in Kerrville.
Friedman cited abolition of the death penalty as one of his main priorities.
"I'm going to push that issue because it's one that I know no one will try to steal from me," he said.
Texas has, for the past 20 years, led the nation in executions under both Democratic and Republican governors, the Star-Telegram reported.
Friedman finished fourth in last year’s gubernatorial race.