side-by-side images of Carroll Robinson (left) and U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee
Carroll Robinson (left) and U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Recently, former Houston City Councilmember Carroll Robinson issued a public statement announcing that he is considering entering the race for Texas’s 18th Congressional District, a seat represented by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston) since 1995.

Last weekend, Jackson Lee threw her hat into the ring seeking to become Houston’s next mayor. Currently, if Jackson Lee were to lose that race, she would retain her seat in Congress.

Politicos suggest that strategically, at least regarding Democrat’s power in the U.S. House of Representatives, if Jackson Lee resigned her seat to focus her time and energy on running for mayor, the winner of the special election to replace her for the remainder of her current term – which ends Jan. 3, 2025 – would inherit her seniority.

However, those same pundits admit, if Jackson Lee took that course of action, her replacement certainly would not possess her 28 years of congressional experience.

Still, Robinson, who is currently an associate professor and former Associate Dean of External Affairs at the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University, believes Jackson Lee should be “all in” for Houston’s mayor’s race.

“She should not be half in on either the race for mayor or serving in Congress,” said Robinson, who is also a former HCC Board Trustee. “It’s not fair to the people who want her to run for mayor and the people in Congressional District 18 who still need so much help and support from CD.”

Regarding which factors would push Robinson to say yes or no to officially declaring his candidacy, he said, “I will finalize my decision based on being able to build the right team to run the campaign. I’m talking to people right now. If they agree, I will be a ‘yes.’”

Here is what Robinson’s announcement said:

“I want to personally let the members of the Texas Coalition of Black Democrats know that I am considering running for Congress in the historic 18th Congressional District now that Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee has decided to come home to run for Mayor of Houston.

Right now, I am polling, listening to people in CD 18, speaking with donors and consultants and doing the necessary paperwork and logistics required to get started.

The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with some blowback from haters but I love and appreciate it all.

As you know, if you want to run for public office you have to take the good with the bad. That is what is required to represent and serve the people and I am a big boy with thick skin.

I would not be doing what I am doing, if I did not believe I was the best person with the best ideas for helping to lift CD 18 to higher heights and to do more good for the people of the District when it comes to reducing hunger and poverty; increasing prosperity; improving health and education outcomes; eliminating health hazards and environmental injustices; and addressing housing affordability, homelessness, voting rights and helping small business owners.

As you know, I was not planning on running for public office again, but I never expected that Congresswoman Jackson Lee would ever want to leave Congress.

To be truthful with you, I have been inspired and re-energized by the bold and fearless leadership and service of Congresswoman Jasmine Crockett of Dallas. What she is doing in Dallas needs to be done all across our state. It would also be great to serve with Congressman Al Green of Houston, an astute and strategic thinker and leader who has been building political and policy coalitions for years to make Houston better and more inclusive.

Congratulations to Congresswoman Jackson Lee on her decision to run for mayor and as it has been said, the work never ends and it’s ok for another person to pick it up and move it forward. I am ready, willing and able to do the work.

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Aswad WalkerAssociate Editor

I'm originally from Cincinnati. I'm a husband and father to six children. I'm an associate pastor for the Shrine of Black Madonna (Houston). I am a lecturer (adjunct professor) in the University of Houston...