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U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, has filed for reelection after losing the Houston mayoral runoff Saturday.
Jackson Lee had declined to say throughout the mayoral race whether she would seek reelection if she lost. State Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, defeated Jackson Lee in a landslide Saturday.
Her decision means she will face a primary challenge from Amanda Edwards, a former Houston City Council member.
The chair of the Harris County Democratic Party, Mike Doyle, said Monday morning that Jackson Lee had filed for reelection ahead of the 6 p.m. deadline.
"Reflecting on the impactful strides we've made together; I am compelled by the numerous opportunities still ahead to enhance the lives of my constituents," Jackson Lee said in a statement afterward.
Jackson Lee has represented Texas' 18th Congressional District since 1995. The district is inside Houston and safely Democratic.
Edwards was running for mayor herself earlier this year. But after Jackson Lee launched her mayoral campaign, Edwards dropped out, endorsed Jackson Lee for mayor and said she would instead run for Jackson Lee’s congressional seat.
Edwards has long said she would remain in the congressional race, even if Jackson Lee lost the mayoral contest and sought reelection. Edwards reiterated her commitment to the race in a statement Monday morning.
“When we look at the critical need for economic opportunity, infrastructure, and the dysfunction in Congress, it’s no surprise that people are saying that it’s time for change,” Edwards said. “It is time to do something different in this election so that we can obtain different results for the community.”
Edwards has gotten the support of Beto O’Rourke, the 2022 Democratic nominee for governor, and national Democratic groups like Brady PAC, which fights to end gun violence.
Another Democrat, progressive organizer Isaiah Martin, had launched a campaign for the congressional seat while Jackson Lee was running for mayor. He announced Monday afternoon he was suspending his campaign and supporting Jackson Lee.
“When I first set out to run for Congress, I was very clear that this decision was not about me," Martin said. "As a nation, we must be laser-focused on flipping the House and electing more good Democrats — not primarying Democrats who deliver."