Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) announced at a church event on Sunday that she will run for Houston’s mayoral race.
“Sheila Jackson Lee wants to come home to be your mayor for the city of Houston,” Jackson Lee said at a live-streamed event at City Cathedral Church on Sunday. “I will not be able to do it without each and every one of you.”
“I hope I’ve been a humble servant for you for 28 years,” the congresswoman stated.
Jackson Lee enters a mayoral contest that has already turned into a crowded race, and it has already been underway because the election will be held later this year.
The Texas Tribune reported that the early frontrunner had been Sen. John Whitmire (D-Houston), while others in the race are former Harris County clerk Chris Hollins, Houston City Council member Robert Gallegos, former chairman of the city’s Metropolitan Transit Authority Gilbert Garcia, and former City Council member Amanda Edwards.
Rep. Jackson Lee will likely have the most name recognition after a long political career. Jackson Lee is currently serving her eleventh term in the House.
Additionally, the congresswoman currently represents Texas’s Eighteenth Congressional District, which includes much of inner-city Houston and the surrounding area. The eighteenth district has been Downtown Houston’s district since the early 1970s.
Ultimately, if Jackson Lee were to win, she would leave Congress before securing one of her keystone issues: a federal reparations study. The congresswoman was part of a group of House Democrats in January who reintroduced legislation to create a commission to address slavery in America in addition to reparations.
In January, Fox News reported:
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, and 52 House Democrats proposed the legislation this week in an effort to keep the issue alive. Her legislation, which was considered by the House Judiciary Committee in the last Congress when Democrats were in charge, is unlikely to taken up in the 118th Congress led by Republicans.
“Though some have tried to deflect the importance of these conversations by focusing on individual monetary compensation, the real issue is whether and how this nation can come to grips with the legacy of slavery that still infects current society,” she said. “Through legislation, resolutions, news, and litigation, we are moving closer to making more strides in the movement toward reparations.”
Semafor noted this month that prominent House Democrats in recent years have been making a run for mayor as a “possible career capper,” acknowledging that former Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) successfully ran for Los Angeles mayor last year, while Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-IL) ran for Chicago mayor this year, but was unsuccessful for the second time.