Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat from Texas, has been a member of Congress since 1995. Over the course of her tenure, she has gained a reputation for being challenging to collaborate with. Despite an unsuccessful bid for the mayoral position in Houston, she has opted to seek reelection to her congressional seat.
State Senator John Whitmire, a Democrat, decisively won the mayoral runoff against Jackson Lee on December 9. Whitmire secured 64.4% of the vote, while Lee trailed with 35.6%. Emphasizing his stance on public safety, Whitmire, known for his tough-on-crime approach, effectively campaigned for the mayoral position.
The fire department and police unions in Houston supported Whitmire’s campaign. Donations totaling millions of dollars enabled him to defeat Jackson Lee’s challenge. The Democratic senator was also successful in winning over Independents and Conservatives. Whitmire stated to POLITICO in an interview conducted prior to the election that he was running to represent the city’s residents and “what they want.”
To put it mildly, Jackson Lee’s campaign was turbulent. An audio recording of her berating her employees was released in October. The lawmaker yells at her assistant for not having the papers she requested in the roughly minute and a half-long recording.
Following the release of the recording, further reports of the congresswoman’s purportedly inappropriate behavior began to circulate. One of the accounts described seeing the lawmaker in her allotted first-class seat while on a United Airlines trip. Jackson Lee subsequently declared the traveler to be a racist.
Jackson Lee submitted her registration to seek for reelection in Texas’ 18th District on December 11.
Next year, Jackson Lee will probably have at least one well-funded opponent in the Democratic primary. Former City Council member Amanda Edwards, who was an at-large member, has already filed to run.
Jackson Lee will be serving her 16th term in Congress should she win.