Hotly contested House District runoff likely to be close

You could say Jolanda Jones launched her first full day representing House District 147 with the people that matter most: a half-dozen pre-K kids on a brand-new playground.

"I have seen what they need. I have seen how I can help, and I can tell them how I can help them," said Jones, who took the oath of her new office Wednesday.

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The former Houston City Council Member, HISD Trustee, and well-known criminal defense attorney prevailed in a tight race to complete the unexpired term of retiring House Member Garnet Coleman.

Jones' abiding pledge - getting vital resources to those most vulnerable.

"Look, I want to help everybody, always have wanted to, but if there are finite resources, a thousand times out of a thousand, I am going to fight for the least, the last, and the lost," said Jones. "That's just what I am going to do."

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On May 24th Jones is asking voters to choose her yet again, this time for a two-year term beginning January 1st.

"I'm running through the finish line. I'm not running to the finish line," said Jones. "I'm taking nothing for granted."

Jones's opponent is Danielle Keys Bess, a successful real estate agent and former aid to Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.

"I am homegrown. I was born in this district. I work in this district. I serve in this district and I worship in this district," said Keys Bess.


The first-time candidate says she offers residents of the 147th a different style of leadership, one rooted in forging relationships and finding common ground for the greater good.

"I want them to know they won't have a career politician on their side," said Keys Bess. "They will have a neighbor, a representative of their issues on their side, and leading that at the forefront of my service is what I am leading this campaign with. Speaking to the (Democratic) party, speaking across the aisle to make sure we are creating legislative action that benefits Texans."

In the May 7th special election, Keys Bess lost to Jones by only 200 votes. Analysts predict Tuesday's run-off could prove equally close.