U.S. Representative and Houston Mayoral candidate Sheila Jackson Lee is responding following the release of a two-minute-long audio clip that captured her berating a member of the staff in a profanity-laced tirade.
The audio clip was posted on social media on Saturday by the far-right Texas blog Current Revolt. Jackson Lee, a leading candidate for next month’s Mayoral election, released a statement late Monday night.
“I want to convey to the people of Houston that I strongly believe that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, and that includes my own staff”
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee
“I know that I am not perfect. I recognize that in my zeal to do everything possible to deliver for my constituents, I have in the past fallen short of my own standards and there is no excuse for that … At heart, I am someone who tells it straight. I know that as much as that is a strength, it can sometimes be a challenge to balance.
“To anyone who has listened to this recording with concern, I am regretful and hope you will judge me not by something trotted out by a political opponent, that worked to exploit this, and backed by extreme Republican supporters on the very day that polls open, but from what I’ve delivered to Houstonians over my years of public service. Interns in my office leave with actual constituent service and legislative experience,” the statement continued. “I want each of them to know that the work we accomplish would never be possible without their hard work and dedication.”
The timing of the release of the potentially damaging audio clip has been questioned with the city set to elect a new Mayor to replace Sylvester Turner on Nov.7. Polls have John Whitmire and Jackson Lee as the frontrunners in the race.
It’s uncertain whether or not the release will hurt Jackson Lee’s chances to win the race. It’s also still unclear when the audio was made.
“This is a low-handed political tactic meant to discredit a thriving mayoral campaign and distract voters ahead of early voting. It’s unsurprising that these attacks have originated from extremely conservative blogs and political operatives backing John Whitmire,” her campaign said in a statement not long after the release of the audio.