(UnitedVoice.com) – Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) has served in Congress since 1995. Through the years, she has developed a reputation for being an unpleasant person to work with. Recently, she ran to become the mayor of Houston, but lost. Now, she has decided to run for reelection in Congress.
A Crushing Defeat
On December 9, state Senator John Whitmire (D) soundly defeated Jackson Lee in the runoff mayoral race. The senator won 64.4% of the vote, while Lee received only 35.6%. Whitmire is a tough-on-crime lawmaker who centered his campaign around public safety.
Houston’s police unions and fire department backed Whitmire’s campaign. He received millions of dollars in donations, allowing him to fight off a challenge from Jackson Lee. The Democratic senator also managed to gain support from Conservatives and Independents. In an interview before the election, Whitmire told POLITICO he was running to represent the people of the city and “what they want.”
Marred By Scandal
Jackson Lee’s campaign was tumultuous, to say the least. In October, someone leaked audio of her yelling at her staffers. In the recording, which was about a minute and a half long, the congresswoman screams at her staffer for not having a document she wanted. She tells the staffer that she needs him to have a “f***in’ brain” and that none of her office’s staffers knows anything. The veteran lawmaker called another staffer who wasn’t in the room a “fat-*ss stupid idiot” and called both of them “f***-ups.”
When the recording hit the airwaves, other stories of the congresswoman’s allegedly bad behavior started making rounds. In one of the stories, a person said they were traveling on a United Airlines flight when they saw the congresswoman in their assigned first-class seat. Jackson Lee later accused the passenger of being a racist.
On December 11, Jackson Lee filed paperwork so she could run for reelection in Texas’ 18th District. The congresswoman had held the seat for almost 30 years. In a statement posted on X, formerly Twitter, Jackson Lee said she was looking back at the “impactful strides [they] made together,” and she was “compelled by the numerous opportunities still ahead to enhance the lives of [her] constituents.”
I thought about the many more gifts I have to give to my constituents of the 18th Congressional District. Those gifts involve more hard work and my ability to get the job done! Together, let's build on the progress we've achieved and work towards an even brighter future for all. pic.twitter.com/DNylOdgfmk
— Sheila Jackson Lee (@SJacksonLee) December 11, 2023
Jackson Lee is likely to face at least one challenger in the Democratic primary next year that will be well-funded. Amanda Edwards, a former at-large member of the City Council, has already filed to run.
If Jackson Lee wins, she will serve her 16th term in Congress.
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