Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee running for Houston mayor

·2 min read

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) revealed on Sunday that she is running for mayor of Houston, entering an already crowded field in the Lone Star State.

Jackson Lee — who has represented Texas’s 18th Congressional District since 1995 — made the announcement at City Cathedral Church in Houston.

“I hope I’ve been a humble servant for you for 28 years, many of you are in my district. Sheila Jackson Lee wants to come home to be your mayor for the city of Houston,” she said, prompting applause. “I will not be able to do it without each and every one of you.”

Jackson Lee’s announcement comes after some speculation regarding whether or not she would throw her hat into the ring. Semafor reported earlier this month that she was considering a run for the position.

The Hill reached out to Jackson Lee’s office for more information.

The congresswoman is entering a crowded field, with sitting Mayor Sylvester Turner (D) being term-limited. State Sen. John Whitmire (D), former Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins (D), House City Council Member Robert Gallegos, former Houston Metropolitan Transit Authority Chairman Gilbert Garcia and former City Council Member Amanda Edwards are all running, according to The Texas Tribune.

The newspaper noted that Jackson Lee will not have to leave her congressional seat to run for mayor. The election is set for Nov. 7.

Whitmire was seen as a formidable candidate early in the race. The dean of the state Senate has represented parts of Harris County and north Houston for 30 years and has a sizable war chest. Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-Texas) has endorsed Whitmire.

Hollins saw his profile grow in 2020 when serving as the top elections official in Harris County. During his tenure, the official worked to send mail-in ballot applications to voters, and he set up 24-hour voting amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Edwards ran for Senate in 2020 but fell short in the primary to M.J. Hegar, who ultimately lost to Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas).

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