Sheila Jackson Lee is running for mayor of Houston

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee is “ready to come home” and will run for mayor in Houston. I wish this was an early April Fool’s Day joke but, alas, it is not. She announced her intention to run on Sunday at City Cathedral Church. Democrats love to turn church services into political rallies and the same is true for Houston Democrats.

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I don’t know whether to scream or cry. Here we go. The current mayor of my city is term-limited out of his job. I say that as I breathe a sigh of relief. My relief is short-lived with the news that Jackson Lee is running for mayor. Isn’t Houston having enough problems these days?

Rest assured, if Sheila Jackson Lee runs for mayor, she will win. Houston voters of the Democrat variety are stupid. Independent voters in Houston don’t always cover themselves in glory, either. However, the city is a blue city and Democrats control everything. The last Republican to hold the office of mayor was James Joseph McConn who was mayor from 1978 to 1982. Houston has had a Democrat mayor since 1982. There used to be a little bit of relief that the county (Harris County) was Republican but even that has changed. The downfall began in 2018 and now, both Houston and Harris County are Democrat-controlled.

So, the entry of Sheila Jackson Lee into the mayor’s race is just more par for the course around here now, I’m sorry to say. She speaks of herself in the third person in her declaration. The video was posted on social media.

“Sheila Jackson Lee wants to come home to be your mayor, for the city of Houston,” Jackson Lee said in the video, also shared on social media.

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As I said, if she runs, she will win. There have been rumors for a while that she was interested in the job. With Mayor Sylvester out, she probably figures now is her time.

Jackson Lee immediately becomes a front-runner in the race, and her entry likely scrambles the calculus for other mayoral contenders. The field now includes seven Democrats. While municipal elections are nonpartisan, each of those candidates is working to assemble winning coalitions from overlapping voter bases.

They include state Sen. John Whitmire; former Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins; former City Councilmember Amanda Edwards; attorney Lee Kaplan; Councilmember Robert Gallegos, and former Metro Chair Gilbert Garcia.

Amanda Edwards worked for Jackson Lee in Washington, D.C. John Whitmire is a longtime state senator who has put a strong focus on criminal reform issues and knows how to build coalitions. U.S. Rep. Sylvia Garcia has already endorsed Whitmire. I would say that those two – Edwards and Whitmire – are her strongest competition. Mostly, I think it will be Whitmire that she will have to worry about. He, too, has waited a while to run for mayor. It’s early yet and she just announced so we’ll have to wait and see how it starts to shake out.

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Jackson Lee has nothing to lose. She’s been in Congress since 1995 and is one of the most senior Texans in Congress. She is well-known in Houston and has a reputation of being everywhere all the time. If there is an event in Houston, she’s there. She doesn’t have to give up her congressional seat to run for mayor. So, on the off-chance she doesn’t win, she’d still have her seat.

I’ll keep an eye on her and her campaign.

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Jazz Shaw 12:01 PM | April 15, 2024
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