After nearly 30 years in Congress, Democrat U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee has announced she will be making a run for Houston mayor this year.

Jackson Lee made the announcement at the City Cathedral Church in Houston, saying in third person, “Sheila Jackson Lee wants to come home to be your Mayor, for the City of Houston.”

Her entrance shakes up an already crowded field to replace outgoing Mayor Sylvester Turner, who has been term limited.

The field is currently led by State Sen. John Whitmire (D–Houston), who announced his intention to run for the position in November 2021 and has largely been seen as the frontrunner ever since.

Other declared candidates include Chris Hollins, Amanda Edwards, Robert Gallegos, Lee Kaplan, and Gilbert Garcia.

Jackson Lee has consistently been a liberal voice in Congress. She was first elected in 1994 after defeating incumbent Democrat U.S. Rep. Craig Washington.

In recent years, she has filed legislation that would create a national firearms registry and mandate a national licensing for gun owners, joined a group of Democrats calling on President Joe Biden to issue executive orders to circumvent state abortion bans, and publicly opposed a proposed ban on Chinese ownership of Texas land.

“Sheila Jackson Lee running for mayor is definitely going to make an otherwise mundane race entertaining,” Charles Blain, the president of Urban Reform Institute, told Texas Scorecard. “But Houston has serious problems, pending lawsuits that, if lost, have the potential of bankrupting the city, an annual budget hole plugged with one-time COVID relief aid, an unrelenting crime wave, and we’re no better prepared for the next disaster than we were for the last, so this election isn’t one to be taken lightly despite the comedic relief candidates may bring.“

“Sheila Jackson Lee has spent years abusing her power as a lawmaker in D.C. while consistently making factually inaccurate statements in front of a large audience,” said Houston radio host Ken Webster. “She loves identity politics almost as much as she enjoys using her position as an elected official to grease the system. She is the poster child for political corruption. In other words, she’d be the perfect person to fill the role as the next mayor of Houston.”

The election will take place on November 7, 2023.

Brandon Waltens

Brandon serves as the Senior Editor for Texas Scorecard. After managing successful campaigns for top conservative legislators and serving as a Chief of Staff in the Texas Capitol, Brandon moved outside the dome in order to shine a spotlight on conservative victories and establishment corruption in Austin. @bwaltens