Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee says she plans to run for Houston mayor

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat representing Texas' 18th congressional district, has announced her plans to run for mayor of Houston.

The longtime representative, who has served in Congress since 1995, said in a statement released Friday that she believes she can make Houston a better place to live and work.

“I love Houston and I’m proud of the great things that the city of Houston has accomplished,” Jackson Lee said in the statement. “Now, I want to take that success and use it to build a better future for Houstonians.”

Jackson Lee has been an outspoken advocate for her constituents in Washington, and has been credited with helping to secure federal funds for Houston’s recovery following the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

She also has a long record of supporting veterans, and has been an advocate for criminal justice reform and gun control.

Jackson Lee will be challenging current Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, who is running for a third term. Turner has held the office since 2016 and has been credited with helping to rebuild Houston's infrastructure after Hurricane Harvey.

The election for mayor of Houston is set for November 2021. It is unclear at this point who else will be running for the office.

If Jackson Lee is successful in her bid, she would become the first woman and the first African-American to serve as mayor of Houston.