Kendrick Sampson, star of HBO’s Insecure, campaigns with Tarsha Jackson


Voters in Houston’s City Council District B are finally getting the moment they’ve been waiting for, with a dose of star power to boot.

On Monday, candidate Tarsha Jackson will be joined by Houston native Kendrick Sampson, well known to television fans for his performances in Insecure and How to Get Away with Murder

Sampson spending time on the campaign trail in his hometown is just his latest entry into activism. In 2019, Sampson founded BLD PWR, an organization that works at the intersection of pop culture, education and activism that works to build and train an inclusive community of entertainers and athletes to advance radical social change. 

For voters in Houston’s City Council District B, the runoff scheduled for December 12th is long past due. Tarsha Jackson notched a strong first-place finish in the first round of voting in 2019, and the subsequent runoff has been delayed by legal maneuvering from the third-place finisher, Renee Jefferson-Smith.

Jefferson-Smith’s litigation centered around her belief that the second-place finisher, Cynthia Bailey, was ineligible for the office due to a 2007 felony conviction. Bailey signed the affidavit required to file for the race, which asked Bailey to affirm she had never been convicted of a felony.

The legal wrangling over what Bailey considered a misunderstanding wasn’t resolved until August when an appeals court ruled Bailey could remain on the ballot. County Clerk Chris Hollins scheduled the election for December 12th, finally allowing voters to elect new representation. 

Incumbent Council Member Jerry Davis, whose retirement opened up the seat in 2019, has continued to serve on the council in the interim. 

For Jackson, the opportunity to finally face voters in the runoff feels like a moment that has been coming for much longer than a year. Well known in Houston political circles for her work to reform Texas laws impacting incarcerated youth and her time at the Texas Organizing Project, Jackson has spent nearly two decades as a criminal justice reformadvocate in District B.

The runoff election will be held on December 12th, and early voting is currently underway.

Photo: Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images

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