By: Diego Martinez

State Senator Molly Cook appears to have narrowly clinched victory over state Representative Jarvis Johnson in the Senate District 15 primary runoff for the second time within this month, positioning herself to retain the long-held Houston Mayor John Whitmire’s seat in the upper chamber. Cook currently leads Johnson by 74 votes, with all precincts reporting, as per unofficial results, a margin well within the range for a potential recount. This count also excludes late-arriving mail-in ballots.

This success marks Cook’s second win over Johnson this month. Initially, she defeated Johnson with a 57% to 43% margin on May 4 in a special election triggered by Whitmire’s resignation to assume the mayoral office earlier in the year. Sworn in on May 16 to serve out the term until year-end, Cook now advances to the November ballot to contest for a full term, representing a diverse segment of Harris County. In a statement announcing her victory on Wednesday, Cook reflected on her journey to the Senate, recalling her initial attempt to challenge Whitmire in 2022.

Being the fi rst individual other than Whitmire to occupy the seat since 1983, Cook, an emergency room nurse and community organizer, also holds the distinction of being the first openly
LGBTQ+ member in the Texas Senate. During the campaign, both Cook and Johnson advocated for progressive causes, such as supporting abortion access, LGBTQ+ rights, and increasing public school funding. Nonetheless, they diverged on their approaches to serving in the minority party. With Republicans currently holding 19 of the 31 Senate seats, Johnson emphasized the necessity of collaborating with the majority to influence Republican-led legislation to align more with Democratic values.

In contrast, Cook expressed her intention to utilize her position to challenge Governor Greg Abbott, Attorney General Ken Paxton, and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. Similar to the runoff,
the earlier special election this month saw a head-to-head contest between Johnson and Cook. Johnson initially appeared as the front-runner, securing 36% of the vote compared to Cook’s 21% in the March 5 primary. Following the loss in the special election, Johnson’s team attributed their defeat to a failure in mobilizing their base, citing insufficient resource allocation to counter what they termed as “misinformation” from Cook’s supporters.

Cook, despite being a relative newcomer, surpassed Johnson in fundraising after the March 5 primary, with significant contributions from Leaders We Deserve, a Washington D.C.-based PAC focused on electing young, progressive lawmakers nationwide. In contrast, Johnson relied on his extensive experience, having served on the Houston City Council from 2006 to 2012 and succeeded former Mayor Sylvester Turner in the Texas House of Representatives.

Cook emphasized her grassroots organizing background and regular interactions with emergency room patients, positioning herself to the left of Johnson by critiquing his support for certain Republican-backed legislation. Senate District 15, housing a diverse populace of nearly a million Harris County residents, holds significant political significance for Democrats. Encompassing
liberal strongholds like Montrose, the Heights, and Acres Homes, along-side key neighborhoods crucial for Democratic aspirations in Texas, such as Bellaire and select suburban areas, the district is pivotal in the Democrats’ efforts to flip Texas.

In 2022, Cook made her debut in politics by challenging Whitmire in the Democratic primary, where she garnered approximately 42% of the vote. Reflecting on her recent victory, Cook described it as an extension of that initial campaign. Her triumph occurred amidst a severe afternoon storm that left many Houston-area residents without electricity, causing temporary power outages at over a dozen voting locations. Following her win, Cook expressed her immediate focus on addressing the needs of constituents who were affected by power loss. Describing the day as
typically Houstonian, with unexpected weather events, Cook emphasized the groundwork laid over the past two-and-a-half years leading up to Election Day. Despite the challenges, there was a
noticeable surge in voter turnout after the storm, showcasing the resilience and determination of voters in her district and across Harris County.

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October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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