Jackson Lee facing two challengers in March primary

January 5, 2010 5:52:52 PM PST
A long-time Houston representative is facing a serious challenge for her seat in Washington. The fight is over Houston's 18th Congressional District, a position that's given a voice to mostly African-American and Latino neighborhoods in the Houston area. Incumbents in Congress often don't face serious re-election challengers in their own party, but the upcoming March primary is putting Sheila Jackson Lee in an unusual situation - she's facing not one, but two people who want her job.

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It was the kind of pep talk that Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee has given countless times before. On Tuesday it was about the census, but what's unusual is that in the audience clapping in support was a man who wants Jackson Lee's job.

"I think we have some unprecedented opportunities and I think I'm the person who can best handle the district's business in D.C.," said attorney Sean Roberts.

He is a political novice, but he thinks he can beat Jackson Lee in the March primary.

A more experienced politician, Houston City Council Member Jarvis Johnson, believes he can also beat the Congresswoman.

"I've got the energy, the youthful exuberance, and the legs and strong back to get the campaign and what our candidacy is about," Johnson said.

Johnson is just beginning his third term on council serving District B, and he even held his news conference in front of the same federal building where Jackson Lee has an office. But the Congresswoman seems unconcerned.

"I'm proud I have one of the most diverse districts of the state of Texas, I'll be going after every single vote, and I'll look forward to every single vote," said Jackson Lee.

When questioned about opponents Roberts and Johnson, she didn't go on the attack, but did take a slight swipe.

"I hope my opponents will have long services as council members and lawyers," said Jackson Lee.

District 18 is a heavily Democratic district so the winner of the Democratic primary will be heavily favored in the general election. The Democratic primary election is scheduled for March 2.


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