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Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee Speaks on Cancer Diagnosis Amid Run for Re-Election

THE AFRO — The congresswoman has held her congressional seat for 30 years and is running for re-election after a failed attempt to become the mayor of Houston. Many Democrats do not believe her cancer diagnosis will hinder her chances of being re-elected in November. U.S. Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D-Texas-30) stated that Jackson Lee’s recent win in the primary race is evidence that re-election is probable- regardless of the cancer diagnosis.

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U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas-18), volunteering at Houston’s Green House International Church, providing hot meals, water, and shelter for those in need. Lee recently announced that she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Photo: @repjacksonlee on Instagram.
U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas-18), volunteering at Houston’s Green House International Church, providing hot meals, water, and shelter for those in need. Lee recently announced that she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Photo: @repjacksonlee on Instagram.

By Ashlee Banks | Special to the AFRO

U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee is looking to once again serve the people of Texas’ 18 District, even though she is currently also fighting pancreatic cancer.

The 74-year-old took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to share that she is currently undergoing cancer treatment and will rely on her Democratic colleagues to hold down the fort while she is absent from the U.S. Capitol.

“I am confident that my doctors have developed the best possible plan to target my specific disease. The road ahead will not be easy, but I stand in faith that God will strengthen me,” Jackson Lee said in a statement.

“I am committed to working with our Congressional Leadership, including Leader Hakeem Jeffries and the Speaker of House, to serve this nation and be present for votes on legislation that is critical for the prosperity and security of the American people,” the Texas Democrat added.

The congresswoman has held her congressional seat for 30 years and is running for re-election after a failed attempt to become the mayor of Houston. Many Democrats do not believe her cancer diagnosis will hinder her chances of being re-elected in November.

U.S. Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D-Texas-30) stated that Jackson Lee’s recent win in the primary race is evidence that re-election is probable- regardless of the cancer diagnosis.

“She won her primary, it’s a safe Democratic seat. She will win the general election no matter what happens,” said Crockett. “I think that what people need to do is have some compassion and know that this job is hard on all of our bodies…people should focus on praying for the congresswoman.”

U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla-19) weighed in with his point of view.

“You come here for a period of time and then you leave. I think that a lot of our members really need to start considering that this is not a career, this is service,” said U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla-19). “This is not against Sheila or anybody else. It’s just a matter of fact that you have to have fresh blood in this place in order to get away from…the old ways.”

The Florida lawmaker added that although he and Jackson Lee have not always seen eye to eye politically, the conservative legislator is praying for her and said he hopes she makes a “full recovery.”

U.S Rep. Jamie Raskin, (D-Md-8) spoke of the congresswoman’s strength and ability to face the challenges ahead of her, while also serving the citizens of her district.

“Sheila Jackson Lee is tough as nails and she’s a great political leader,” said Raskin.“I trust her to make the right decisions for herself and the people she represents.”

Jackson Lee’s recent diagnosis comes more than a decade after the congresswoman announced that she beat her fight against breast cancer. She has asked that her constituents and U.S. citizens keep her and her family in their prayers during this time.

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