Shelley Sekula-Gibbs

Shelley Sekula-Gibbs (born June 22, 1953[1]) is an American physician and politician, who serves as a director of The Woodlands, Texas Township board of directors. She served as a member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Texas's 22nd congressional district in 2006.[2] A Republican, she won the special election to fill the seat for the last few weeks of the 109th United States Congress.[3] She previously served as a city councilwoman in Houston, Texas from 2002 to 2006.

Shelley Sekula-Gibbs
Shelley Sekula-Gibbs.jpg
Member of the Board of Directors
of The Woodlands Township
Assumed office
November 20, 2019
Preceded byJohn McMullan
ConstituencyPosition 5
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 22nd district
In office
November 13, 2006 – January 3, 2007
Preceded byTom DeLay
Succeeded byNick Lampson
Member of the Houston City Council from the At-large #3 District
In office
January 2, 2002 – November 8, 2006
Preceded byOrlando Sanchez
Succeeded byMelissa Noriega
Personal details
Born (1953-06-22) June 22, 1953 (age 67)
Floresville, Texas
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Robert Gibbs, Jr.
ResidenceThe Woodlands, Texas
Alma materOur Lady of the Lake University (BS)
University of Texas (MD)

Early life and educationEdit

Sekula-Gibbs was born to parents of Czech, German and Polish ancestry.[4] Sekula-Gibbs graduated from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas[5] with summa cum laude honors and a degree in chemistry.[6] She later earned her Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas, and went on to residencies at the University of Florida in family practice, and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, specializing in dermatology.[6][7]


Before entering politics, Sekula-Gibbs operated her own dermatology practice in the Clear Lake area of Houston. Sekula-Gibbs teaches at Ben Taub Hospital and serves as a clinical assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine, both in the Texas Medical Center.[6]

Sekula-Gibbs serves on the Greater Houston Partnership as a member of the Health Care Advisory Committee and as a member of the Houston Galveston Area Council Emergency/Trauma Care Policy Council. She is also a part of the Friends of the Texas Medical Center Library, where she serves on the board of directors.

Sekula-Gibbs retired from practicing medicine in 2014, citing personal health issues.

Houston City CouncilEdit

Sekula-Gibbs won election to the At Large, Position Three on Houston City Council in 2001 as Shelley Sekula-Rodriguez, from her marriage to the late TV newscaster Sylvan Rodriguez. In 2005 she was re-elected by her present name.[8] Sekula-Gibbs is the first physician to have ever been elected to serve on Houston City Council.[citation needed]

As a member of Houston City Council, Sekula-Gibbs served on the Quality of Life, Budget and Fiscal Affairs, Pension Review, Council Governance, Environment and Public Health, Ethics, and International Liaison and Protocol committees.[citation needed]

Sekula-Gibbs resigned her seat on the Houston city council on November 8, 2006, following her victory in the special election to fill the two-month unexpired term of Tom DeLay. A special election was held to fill her Council seat in May 2007; in runoff voting Democrat Melissa Noriega won the position.[9]

2006 congressional raceEdit

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who had represented Sekula-Gibbs's area of residence since it was redistricted into DeLay's district (see 2003 Texas redistricting) and was under indictment for conspiracy charges, decided to retire from Congress instead of face a tough re-election campaign in the following November.[10] After DeLay's announcement, Sekula-Gibbs expressed interest in the position, but waited for DeLay to complete the official withdrawal procedure before filing her papers.[11]

On August 17, 2006, Sekula-Gibbs was selected as the endorsed Republican write-in candidate for District 22.[12][13] A write-in candidate was necessary because the Republicans were unsuccessful in their efforts to replace DeLay's name on the ballot with another Republican's name. The courts ruled that replacing DeLay's name, especially after winning the state primary, violated Texas election laws. After the court defeat, DeLay chose to remove his name voluntarily from the ballot, essentially leaving the ballot without a Republican standard bearer. The precinct chairpersons voted to endorse one Republican for a write-in campaign. Four Republicans in all — Sekula-Gibbs, Tom Campbell, Tim Turner and David Wallace, the mayor of the Houston suburb of Sugar Land — expressed interest in the Republican endorsement of a write-in campaign. Two of Sekula-Gibbs' fellow Republican candidates, Campbell and Turner, decided to support Sekula-Gibbs in the general election immediately after her endorsement.[14] However, Wallace, who was the first to launch a write-in campaign for the seat, decided initially to continue his campaign without the backing of GOP leaders in the district, which would have made election to Congress difficult for Sekula-Gibbs.[15] In the end, Wallace dropped out of the race days after Sekula-Gibbs received the endorsement.[16] Sekula-Gibbs faced Democratic ex-congressman Nick Lampson and Libertarian Bob Smither.

The district is heavily Republican in both the eastern portion of the district (where Sekula-Gibbs' base is located) and in the western portion (where Wallace comes from). The main counties in the district, Fort Bend, Galveston and Brazoria voted 61% for Bush and 38.5% for Kerry and the remainder to a third-party candidate.[17] The district as a whole, including the sections of Harris that it covers, voted for Bush in 2004 with 64% of the vote. However, write-in candidates have historically failed to win in Texas, which made victory a challenge for Sekula-Gibbs. The Dallas Morning News noted that on the electronic machines used in District 22, voters would have to spell out any write-in candidate's name by using a wheel to move a cursor through the alphabet.[18] The race was one of the most competitive races in the country according to the National Journal. Two nonpartisan political reports, the Cook Political Report and Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball, rated the race as Leans Democratic and rated the race Leans Democratic.[19] Smither, the Libertarian candidate, has stated that "a vote for liberal Democrat Nick Lampson will be a vote for Nancy Pelosi as speaker of the House." Libertarian Ron Paul, 1988 Libertarian Party candidate for president, was a previous holder of the District 22 seat.

On October 30, 2006, a poll was released that was conducted by John Zogby and sponsored by the Houston Chronicle and KHOU, intended to gauge support for the various candidates in the district race. Sekula-Gibbs received support of 28 percent of respondents, compared to 36 percent support for Lampson, according to the poll of more than 500 likely voters in the 22nd Congressional District.[20]

On November 7, 2006, Sekula-Gibbs lost the general election for the seat to Democrat Nick Lampson, but won the special election to fulfill the remainder of former Representative Tom DeLay's term in the final session of the 109th Congress.[21]

Special electionEdit

Texas Governor Rick Perry announced on August 29, 2006, that a special election would take place for the unexpired term of Tom DeLay, coinciding with the general election on November 7, 2006. That meant that voters chose twice for the same race but with a different set of candidates (only Libertarian Bob Smither was on both ballots). It set up a scenario in which the constituents of District 22 sent one person to Washington for the last two months of the 109th Congress and a different person to Congress for the two years following. It also means that Sekula-Gibbs was on the ballot for the special election (but not the general election, in which she remained a write-in). Sekula-Gibbs filed for the special election and appeared on the ballot, as did Bob Smither; however, Lampson chose not to file.[22][23] Sekula-Gibbs was asked if the special election would confuse voters. She replied, "People already know it's an unusual race." She also stated that having her name on one ballot would serve as "a memory jog."[24]

Sekula-Gibbs won the special election on November 7, 2006.[21]

On November 13, Sekula-Gibbs was sworn in for the vacant seat. She said she would use her brief time in Congress, "For tax cuts. For immigration reform. To make sure we have a good solution for the war in Iraq."[25] Her term expired on January 3, 2007, when Nick Lampson was sworn in to represent the district.

2008 congressional raceEdit

Sekula-Gibbs ran again for the Congressional seat in 2008. She won the first round with 29.72%--short of the majority needed to win the nomination outright. She advanced to a runoff in April against runner-up Pete Olson, a former aide to former U.S. Senator Phil Gramm.[26][27] Sekula-Gibbs criticized Olson as "a Washington insider ... [who] moved here just six months ago to run."[28] Nevertheless, 12 of Texas's 19 Republican congressmen endorsed Olson in the primary.[29] Gibbs' campaign manager in the 2008 primary was conservative activist Clymer Wright, father of the municipal term limits movement in Houston. Olson won the April 8 runoff, taking 69 percent of the vote to Sekula-Gibbs' 31 percent.[30][31][32]

2019 The Woodlands Township board electionEdit

In July 2019, Sekula-Gibbs filed to run for The Woodlands Township Board of Directors, Position #5. She will be faced Walter C. Cooke, an attorney, and Rashmi Gupta.[33] She said that her focus, as a director, was going to be "flood mitigation, incorporation, traffic and mobility and parks and recreation".[34][35] Sekula-Gibbs defeated Cooke and Gupta by receiving 48.43% of the vote, outpacing her nearest rival by nineteen percent.[36] She was sworn in as director on November 20, 2019.[37]

Personal lifeEdit

Sekula-Gibbs has been married three times. The first time to Alan Greenberg, the second time to KHOU-TV newscaster Sylvan Rodriguez, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2000. Before his death, Rodriguez inspired Sekula-Gibbs to run for public office.

In June 2002, she married Robert W. Gibbs, Jr., former director of corporate community relations at Reliant Energy, and they live in The Woodlands, Texas. Sekula-Gibbs is the mother of two adult children.[38] She is a Roman Catholic.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^ Sekula-Gibbs Congressional Swearing-In Scheduled - Houston News Story - KPRC Houston Archived September 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Sekula-Gibbs to head to D.C., resign council seat, Houston Chronicle, November 8, 2006
  4. ^ "Overdose". August 22, 2002.
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b c "The News of the Czech Center" (PDF). Czech Cultural Center. Fall–Winter 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 11, 2008. Retrieved August 23, 2008.
  7. ^ "University of Florida Health Science Center document" (PDF). Retrieved January 11, 2007.[dead link]
  8. ^ "List of Mayors, Council and City Controllers" (PDF). City of Houston. January 15, 2008. Retrieved August 23, 2008.
  9. ^ "Noriega easily wins Houston council seat runoff". June 17, 2007.
  10. ^ Weisman, Jonathan (August 9, 2006). "With DeLay Out, GOP Searches for Write-In Candidate". Washington Post. pp. A04. Retrieved August 22, 2006.
  11. ^ Robert, Garrett; Todd J. Gillman (August 9, 2006). "Mayor to be write-in for DeLay seat". Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved August 22, 2006.
  12. ^ Hanson, Eric (August 19, 2006). "Sekula-Gibbs picked as write-in candidate". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved August 21, 2006.
  13. ^ Lozano, Juan A. (August 17, 2006). "Texas GOP Back Houston Councilwoman". Associated Press. Retrieved August 21, 2006.[dead link]
  14. ^ Dunn, Bob (August 21, 2006). "Wallace Announces Decision Today; Campbell, Turner Pick Sekula-Gibbs". FortBendNow. Retrieved August 21, 2006.[dead link]
  15. ^ Murphy, Bill; Matt Stiles (August 19, 2006). "Sekula-Gibbs faces big hurdles in 22nd bid". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved August 21, 2006.
  16. ^ Dunn, Bob (August 21, 2006). "Wallace Ends Write-In Bid For Congress; Says He Won't Seek Re-election As Mayor". FortBendNow. Archived from the original on November 16, 2006. Retrieved August 22, 2006.
  17. ^ "Election 2004: U.S. PRESIDENT/TEXAS/COUNTY RESULTS". CNN. November 4, 2004. Retrieved August 25, 2006.
  18. ^ Mayor to be write-in for DeLay seat Archived September 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ CQ Politics Ratings Archived September 1, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "Write-in for DeLay spot has a shot" by Kristen Mack, Houston Chronicle, October 30, 2006 Archived September 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ a b Giroux, Greg (November 8, 2006). "Sekula-Gibbs Wins (and Loses), Will Go to Congress (for Two Months)". Congressional Quarterly/The New York Times. Retrieved August 23, 2008.
  22. ^ Ratcliffe, R.G. (August 29, 2006). "Perry sets November 7 as election day for DeLay's seat". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved August 29, 2006.
  23. ^ Castro, April (August 29, 2006). "Special election to finish DeLay's term in Congress set Nov. 7". Associated Press. Retrieved August 29, 2006.[dead link]
  24. ^ Blumenthal, Ralph (August 30, 2006). "Governor Gives Contest to Replace DeLay a New Twist". The New York Times. Retrieved August 30, 2006.
  25. ^ Washington Post, November 15, 2006
  26. ^ "2008 Republican Party Primary Election Returns". Texas Secretary of State's Office. Archived from the original on March 6, 2008. Retrieved March 6, 2008.
  27. ^ Bernstein, Alan (March 5, 2008). "Congressional District 22: Sekula Gibbs, Olson set up runoff battle for House seat". Houston Chronicle.
  28. ^ "Olson Wins Run-Off Elections". Fox 26. April 8, 2008. Retrieved May 25, 2008.
  29. ^ Bernstein, Alan (March 6, 2008). "A congressional chorus backs Olson in 22nd District runoff". Texas on the Potomac. Houston Chronicle. Archived from the original on March 4, 2009. Retrieved May 25, 2008.
  30. ^ Kraushaar, Josh (April 8, 2008). "Olson Wins Texas Runoff, Will Face Lampson". CBS News. Retrieved May 25, 2008.
  31. ^ Blake, Aaron (April 8, 2008). "Olson tops Sekula Gibbs in Texas runoff". The Hill. Retrieved June 7, 2008.
  32. ^ CQ Politics | Texas GOP Runoff Goes to Ex-Senate Aide in Race for DeLay's Old Seat Archived October 30, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  33. ^ November 5, 2019 Election, The Woodlands Township Board of Directors, Candidates in Ballot Order, The Woodlands Township. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
  34. ^ Forward, Jeff. Veteran Republican Sekula-Gibbs seeks Woodlands board seat, The Courier of Montgomery County, July 26, 2019.
  35. ^ Forward, Jeff. Local attorney Cooke vying to replace McMullan on Woodlands board, The Courier of Montgomery County, July 26, 2019.
  36. ^ Bruse, Jennifer. Unofficial 2019 Election Results, Hello The Woodlands, November 6, 2019.
  37. ^ "Agendas, minutes, and more (November 2019)". The Woodlands Township. November 2019. Archived from the original on November 14, 2020. Retrieved November 14, 2020.
  38. ^ Sekula-Gibbs Campaign website Archived October 27, 2006, at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Tom DeLay
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 22nd congressional district

November 13, 2006 – January 3, 2007
Succeeded by
Nick Lampson