The Houston Press will be interviewing each of the main contenders in the 18th Congressional District race. This is the second interview of the series.
Councilman Jarvis Johnson entered his campaign manager's office on a chilly Friday evening somewhere in the Heights with a large print mailer from the incumbent Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat who represents the 18th Congressional District.
The mailer had a Who's Who of Democratic Party members who support Jackson Lee in this March primary.
Johnson claims, "Its politics. I really believe that it's very hard to go against an incumbent. While many of these individuals, especially elected[s], the elected officials while many of them have never worked collectively or hand in hand with her. It is simple politics."
Some of those on the mailer have endorsed or supported Johnson in the past. Johnson notes that some of those elected officials stated, "Jarvis we really like you. We really do. We really want to support you but we just can't go against an incumbency."
Johnson is a graduate of Texas Southern University. He was a director of an after-school program that was the launching pad for his career in politics. He is currently serving his third and final city council term for District B, which encompasses part of the one-eight.
Johnson wants to address education, employment and health care issues in the district. He feels that the incumbent has failed the 18th and claims that he would focus on the district instead of being all over the planet chasing every media opportunity.
The candidate was referring to Jackson Lee's one-day trip to Haiti that took place the day of our interview.
"I am not going to be all over the map," Johnson adds.
He addresses concerns about the 18th losing Jackson Lee's seniority, being labeled as a career politician and what another term means for the district if Jackson Lee were to be victorious.
Johnson states, "We brought change to the White House. We need to bring change to the 18th Congressional District ... If not now, when? And if not me, who?"
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.