Sheila Jackson Lee Defeated In Houston Race
Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) suffered a significant defeat in Houston’s mayoral runoff election on Saturday night, with Texas Senator John Whitmire (D-15) emerging as the victor.
With 57% of the expected votes counted, Whitmire held a commanding lead over Jackson Lee, with 63.9% of the vote to her 36.1%, according to NBC News. The 74-year-old senator had focused his campaign on reducing crime in the city and was able to heavily outspend his opponent.
The campaign for Jackson Lee, a 26-year veteran of Congress, had been embroiled in controversy after an audio recording was released in October. In the recording, which was obtained by Current Revolt, the congresswoman can be heard allegedly berating a staff member for not knowing the exact date of an event.
On the recording, Jackson Lee can be heard using profane language and insulting her staff member’s intelligence, demanding that they “have a f***ing brain” and calling them “stupid” and “fat.” She also berates another staff member named Jerome, accusing him of not knowing anything and being a “f*** up.”
In response to the leaked audio, Jackson Lee issued a statement claiming that she believes in treating everyone with respect and dignity, including her staff. She also admitted that she is not perfect and has a lot of “zeal” for serving her constituents.
However, she stopped short of offering a direct apology and instead dismissed the recording as a “political attack and stunt” orchestrated by her opponent’s “extreme Republican supporters.” She also defended her track record of serving the people of Houston.
While Jackson Lee may have downplayed the recording as a political ploy, it clearly had a significant impact on the election. And as Whitmire emerged as the victor, it became evident that voters were not willing to overlook the congresswoman’s alleged mistreatment of her staff.
Jackson Lee’s defeat is a major blow for her as she had aspirations of being the first female African American mayor of Houston. Her loss also serves as a reminder of the importance of treating staff members with respect, regardless of one’s political standing or position of power.
As voters in Houston have spoken, it is now up to John Whitmire to live up to his campaign promises and tackle the issue of crime in the city. And as for Representative Jackson Lee, she will have to find other ways to continue serving the people of Houston, as her chance at becoming mayor has slipped away.