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Houston mayoral candidate Amanda Edwards announced Monday that she's dropping out of the city's mayoral race and planning to campaign for a seat in Congress.

Edwards endorsed U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, for mayor and said she's running in Jackson Lee's congressional district. Edwards, a municipal finance attorney, served as an at-large Houston City Council member from 2016 to 2020.

Congressional candidate Amanda Edwards
Congressional candidate Amanda Edwards (Marie D. De JesĂşs / Abdelraoufsinno)

“After much prayerful consideration, I am now seeking to pivot from the mayor’s race in order to seek the ability to serve as the next congresswoman for the 18th congressional district,” Edwards said at a news conference.

Edwards' departure whittles down a long list of mayoral candidates who include Jackson Lee and state Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston. Houston's current mayor, Sylvester Turner, can't run because of term limits.

Asked about her priorities for the district, Edwards emphasized addressing “meat and potatoes” issues first, citing access to health care, economic opportunity and affordable housing as key foundations for “secure families.”

Edwards, who spoke outside a community mural in the Fifth Ward, said she chose to make her announcement on Juneteenth because it represented a “pivot point” in a “long journey of struggle and triumph.”

“Serving this district is a part of my journey,” she said.

As a city council member, Edwards initiated Houston’s Tech & Innovation Task Force, leading to the creation of the city’s Innovation District. She also runs a nonprofit geared toward empowering women and senior citizens across Houston.

Noting that she interned for Jackson Lee after college, Edwards said the experience “deepened” her commitment to public service. Jackson Lee doesn’t have to give up her congressional seat during the mayoral campaign and hasn’t endorsed any candidates.

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Clare Amari covers public safety for the Abdelraoufsinno. Clare previously worked as an investigative reporter for The Greenville News in South Carolina, where she reported on police use of force, gender-based...