SJL files for re-election

We have our answer.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee

U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee will run for reelection in Texas’ 18th Congressional District, shaking up a Democratic primary that’s been in limbo since her resounding defeat in the race for Houston mayor on Saturday. Harris County Democratic Party Chair Michael Doyle said he accepted her filing at 10 a.m. Monday.


Former Houston At-Large City Council member Amanda Edwards, 41, originally filed to run for mayor but dropped out of the contest after Jackson Lee entered the race. Edwards then announced in June she was running as a Democrat for Jackson Lee’s congressional seat and endorsed her candidacy for mayor.

Edwards told the Houston Chronicle Monday she would not drop out of the race if Jackson Lee entered it. She already has filed to be on the ballot for the March 5 Democratic Primary.

Isaiah Martin, 25, is a former University of Houston student body president and former intern in Jackson Lee’s office. He announced in September that he would run for Jackson Lee’s Congressional seat but has not filed to have his name appear on the ballot.

See here for the background. This isn’t a surprise, there had been chatter to this effect before the runoff, probably earlier than that. Her concession speech on Saturday didn’t sound like someone who was ready to retire. I would not have been shocked if she had chosen to retire, but this is the outcome I expected, and I daresay most other people did as well.

And I’m fine with it. She’s been a member of Congress for a long time, she’s been good at it, the voters know and like her. The conversation with voters about why she tried so hard to get another job could and should be awkward, but again, she has that longstanding relationship to fall back on. People can be remarkably forgiving about this sort of thing.

Which is not to say she will have an easy time of it, or that she should avoid critical scrutiny. If you supported her for Mayor, especially if you live in CD18, you had to be comfortable at some level with the idea of someone else representing CD18. Amanda Edwards has been campaigning for over six months, she’s raised over a million dollars for her campaign, and she will easily be the best-funded candidate against SJL since she defeated then-Rep. Craig Washington all those years ago. (I might say that Edwards would be SJL’s best-known challenger as well, but former Council member Jarvis Johnson ran against her in 2010, so let’s call it a tossup.) Isaiah Martin raised a very impressive $316K in less than three months; if he continues his campaign, he’ll contribute to the strongest one-two punch SJL has ever seen. However hard she worked on her Mayoral campaign, SJL will need to do at least that much for at least the next three months.

We’ll see how it goes. It may be SJL versus Edwards, it may be those two plus Martin, and who knows, there may be others filing as well. You never know what can happen on deadline day. The Chron has more.

(UPDATE: Isaiah Martin is suspending his campaign and endorsing SJL.)

BTW, I will have a full roundup of who filed for what tomorrow, once the dust has settled a bit. In the meantime, a few news-y bits:

– The Erik Manning Spreadsheet is live! All hail Erik Manning, the wind beneath our wings.

– State Rep. Victoria Neave Criado will challenge State Sen. Nathan Johnson in SD16. Both were trailblazers of a sort. Neave Criado flipped HD107 in 2016, a cycle ahead of the blue wave in 2018. She was the first Dem House candidate to win a seat that hadn’t flipped due to redistricting or the 2010/2014 debacles. Johnson was one of two Democratic flips in the Senate in 2018, ridding us of the pestilence that was Don Huffines, and his seat was the one left uncracked by the 2021 redistricting. I like Sen. Johnson (to be clear, I also like Rep. Neave Criado) and would probably vote for him if I lived there, but I don’t. We’ll see what the people there do.

– Current HCDE Trustee Danny Norris has filed to run against State Rep. Harold Dutton in HD142. You know who I’m rooting for. HCDE Trustee Richard Cantu, who lost in the At Large #3 runoff on Saturday, had not filed for re-election as of Monday morning, but has since filed. Josh Wallenstein, who has run for HCDE Trustee before, has filed for that seat.

– As of Monday afternoon, two incumbent Democratic Constables had not yet filed for re-election: Constable May Walker in Precinct 7, and Constable Alan Rosen in Precinct 1. Multiple people have filed in 7, and so far two have filed in 1. The Manning spreadsheet says that Constable Walker is retiring, so that’s an open seat. Constable Rosen has long been rumored to be interested in other things – his name was all over the speculation for Sheriff when Ed Gonzalez had been nominated for ICE – and I’ve been wondering if he will be a last-minute filer for some other office, including possibly Sheriff. However, checking again after the deadline, Rosen has filed for re-election. So no drama there.

– Late in the day, someone named Umeka Lewis-Piccolo has filed to run for County Attorney, so no one holding a countywide executive office is unopposed. Danielle Bess has joined the field for Tax Assessor. The list of candidates from the HCDP website is less organized than the Manning spreadsheet but it looks to be pretty comprehensive.

As noted, I will have more tomorrow.

Related Posts:

This entry was posted in Election 2024 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to SJL files for re-election

  1. Jason Hochman says:

    I predicted this. As usual, I was right.

  2. Andrew Lynch says:

    “She’s been a member of Congress for a long time, she’s been good at it. ”

    What has she been good at ? she has been the primary sponsor on 10 bills in her 28 years in congress. Such important bills like “Stop FGM Act” and “Emancipation National Historic Trail Study Act”

    She is power-hungry and will not let go.

  3. Manny says:

    The circus never fails to make and appearance.

  4. Dee says:

    The Secretary of State official records says Umeka Lewis Piccolo is a civil rights attorney, Umeka “U A.” Lewis.
    She was arrested by HPD, then sued.

  5. Manny says:

    Thanks, Dee

Comments are closed.