That other guy in CD18 drops out and endorses SJL

Obviously earth-shaking news.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee

Robert Slater, the longshot candidate challenging U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee in the upcoming March primary, said he will suspend his campaign Sunday and endorse the incumbent congresswoman.

Slater, a Houston chef and businessman, faced long odds in the Democratic primary dominated by Jackson Lee, who has represented Texas’ 18th Congressional District since 1995, and former City Councilmember Amanda Edwards. Jackson Lee led Edwards by a 43% to 38% margin among likely voters in a recently published University of Houston poll, while Slater garnered just 3% support.

“I don’t have the benefit of having 28 years of an incumbency and name ID,” he told potential voters in a video posted to social media Saturday.

Slater had centered his campaign on equal access to education and health care and criminal justice reform. His campaign website says he hopes to advocate and be a leader for Black youth in Houston.

Here’s the video, which is not where he announced his departure from the race; it appears to be at some group event, I see a couple of Dem candidates for other offices in the background. Slater had no finance report as of January, which is interesting since the first image on his campaign Instagram account is a request for donations. He’s hardly the first low-profile candidate to do that sort of thing.

As to what effect this may have on the race, my guess is little to none, since he’s still on the ballot anyway and was barely a blip in the polls. I have no idea what a Robert Slater voter looks like, but it’s probably not someone who is well attuned to politics and/or not a fan of SJL’s to begin with. I looked at his social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok; no Twitter as far as I can tell) and I didn’t see him mention this anywhere as of Sunday evening. Are we even sure his supporters will find out about this? If by some chance you are a Slater supporter and have received some communication about this, please do leave a comment and let us know.

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