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Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee running for mayor of Houston

Democrat won 15th term in November with nearly 71 percent of the vote

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, plans to run for mayor of Houston this year.
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, plans to run for mayor of Houston this year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee is running for mayor of Houston, joining other Democrats who sought to leave the House recently for a chance to lead one of the nation’s largest cities.

Jackson Lee, who has been in the House since 1995, is one of at least six candidates vying to replace incumbent Mayor Sylvester Turner, who is term-limited. The election in November is nonpartisan, though most of the major contenders for the seat are Democrats.

Sheila Jackson Lee wants to come home to be your mayor, for the City of Houston,” Jackson Lee said Sunday at City Cathedral Church. A video of her announcement was posted on Twitter by Urban Reform, a Houston-based online publication. “I will not be able to do it without each and every one of you.”

Jackson Lee is one of several House members to make a run for mayor in the past year. In November, Democrat Karen Bass was elected mayor of Los Angeles after serving a decade in the House. Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García, D-Ill., ran for mayor of Chicago but failed to advance beyond the February runoff.

Nothing precludes Jackson Lee from seeking reelection if she fails to win the mayoral election in November. She captured more than 70 percent of the vote in November in the heavily Democratic 18th District.

In addition to Jackson Lee, announced candidates for mayor include state Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, and his competitors include Chris Hollins, the former Harris County clerk; Robert Gallegos, a member of the Houston City Council; Gilbert Garcia, former chairman of the city’s Metropolitan Transit Authority; and Amanda Edwards, a former City Council member, according to the Texas Tribune.

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