Longtime state Rep. Garnet Coleman not seeking re-election

State Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, who represents District 147 in the Texas House of Representatives, announced Nov. 18 that he will not seek re-election after serving for more than 30 years in the district. (Courtesy Garnet Coleman)
State Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, who represents District 147 in the Texas House of Representatives, announced Nov. 18 that he will not seek re-election after serving for more than 30 years in the district. (Courtesy Garnet Coleman)

State Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, who represents District 147 in the Texas House of Representatives, announced Nov. 18 that he will not seek re-election after serving for more than 30 years in the district. (Courtesy Garnet Coleman)

State Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, who represents District 147 in the Texas House of Representatives, announced Nov. 18 that he will not seek re-election after serving for more than 30 years in the district.

"I'd like to thank my wife, children and extended family for their years of support and sacrifice that have allowed me to serve in the Texas House of Representatives," Coleman said in a statement. "I'd also like to thank my many supporters for their advice and counsel in government and in the public realm, and most importantly their votes that have allowed me to serve."

District 147 falls entirely within Harris County, covering parts of downtown Houston, Midtown and Montrose as well as the Third Ward, Museum District, Bellfort, the Greater Hobby area and the University area where the University of Houston and Texas Southern University are located. Coleman has represented the district since 1991.

Coleman's work over the years has spanned from health care to police reform to state finances. In 1999, he created the state's children's Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program. He was later selected by the administration of President Barack Obama to be a part of a 32-member working group that helped develop and pass the Affordable Care Act.

In 2017, Coleman passed the Sandra Bland Act, which requires all officers to receive de-escalation training and works to divert people suffering from mental health issues to treatment facilities instead of jail.


Colemen is retiring alongside fellow chair of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus, Joe Deshotel, D-Beaumont. In a Nov. 19 statement, TxLBC Chair Nicole Collier, D-Fort Worth, said both representatives were instrumental in helping the caucus succen over the years.

"You cannot mention the word ‘healthcare’ without also acknowledging [Coleman's] work in improving access to Medicaid, reducing health disparities for low-income Texans and people of color, and furthering behavioral health care in with crisis intervention training, the creation of mental health courts, and suicide prevention

programs, to name a few," Collier said.

Coleman said he is looking forward to continuing to serve the community in a nonelected capacity.

State house seats are up for election every two years. Coleman last won re-election in 2020. He ran unopposed in the general election and won the primary election with 61.5% of the vote, defeating challengers Colin Ross and Aurelia Wagner.


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