Days after state Rep. Jasmine Crockett won the Democratic nomination to replace retiring Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson in Congress, she was having bad dreams.
“I’m having these nightmares and I wake up and I’m like, ‘Wait a minute. Did I win?’” Crockett joked during an interview with The Dallas Morning News. “I wake up and I Google myself.”
Crockett indeed won her runoff against former congressional chief of staff Jane Hope Hamilton, racking up more than 60% of the vote. She’ll meet Republican James Rodgers in the November general election, where she’s certain to win in the heavily Democratic Dallas district.
Crockett said it’s time for her to begin winding down her freshman term in the Texas Legislature and transitioning to the U.S. House. A criminal defense and civil rights lawyer, Crockett said she’s also handling her final legal cases before leaving her law practice for Congress.
The Dallas Democrat said she’s thrilled with her historic win.
“Is it really happening that literally I will be in the history books,” Crockett said. “I don’t know if there will be another Black woman who goes down to the statehouse, does a freshman term, and then goes to the U.S. House.”
But she acknowledged the weight that comes with her new job.
“It’s hard to be super excited when you just really understand how much people need and how the needs just kind of keep piling up,” she said. “I feel a lot of pressure because I don’t want to let the district down.”
Crockett said she’ll go to Congress to work on four key issues:
- Developing affordable and quality housing in the 30th Congressional District.
- Creating partnerships with nonprofits that are more nimble than the government in problem solving.
- Developing a plan for distributing federal dollars related to the government’s massive infrastructure plan.
- Finding ways to boost small businesses.
The May 24 massacre of 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde has created another priority for Crockett and others.
“I need to pull together something specifically as it relates to guns, especially coming from the state of Texas,” she said. “We need to do something.”
Since winning the runoff, Crockett has talked with Johnson, whose endorsement propelled her to front-runner status. She has also chatted with other Democrats in the House, including Rep. Colin Allred of Dallas, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland and Progressive Caucus chairwoman Pramila Jayapal of Washington state.
Crockett said she’ll stay grounded when she goes to Congress.
“I’m not a politician. I hate politics, but I love people and I am committed to truly doing the work to serve the people and hopefully inspiring the next generation,” she said. “I’m going to be here as long as the people want me to serve them and they feel like I’m effective.”