Lizzie Fletcher (’93) speaks to WHEE about running for Congress as a woman


Eric Hang

Lizzie Fletcher talks with students after her presentation.

Mehak Batra and Sophie Gillard

When Lizzie Pannill Fletcher (‘93) was in Upper School, the wife of an elected official came to speak in Chapel. Fletcher remembered the woman’s parting message: “Girls ー marry well and hope your husbands run for office”.

Now, Fletcher, a partner at Houston law firm AZA, is running for office herself. On December 1, she spoke to the members of Women Helping Empower Each Other about her experience as a woman running for Congress.

After introducing herself to the group, Fletcher took questions from students on issues ranging from healthcare to sexual harassment. She also encouraged the students to find ways to get involved in causes they care about.

“If you are passionate about something, you should do it and follow it anywhere,” Fletcher said.

Many of the young women who attended felt empowered by Fletcher’s words at the meeting.

“She left a good impression that women can run for office and that they can do so much more than what possibly society wants them to,” Freshman Rhea Kamat said.    

Fletcher’s audience was interested in her thoughts.

“It was positive. Everyone was very attentive and truly cared about what she had to say,” sophomore Alexa Addison said.

Fletcher is running for the Democratic Party’s nomination for the seventh Congressional District. She faces five other Democratic candidates in the race to challenge Republican incumbent John Culberson in the November election.

If elected, Fletcher will be the first Texan woman elected to the House of Representatives since 1996. Fletcher has received the support of national organizations that seek to support female candidates, such as EMILY’s List, a political action committee that works to elect pro-choice women to public office.

WHEE Board Member and Fletcher Campaign intern Katie Smith, a junior, said that she is excited about the prospect of gaining a new Congresswoman from Texas.

“It is so important that women have a seat at the table because there are a lot of well-meaning men and then some not so well-meaning men who just don’t think about certain aspects of issues like healthcare that affect women, whereas women automatically think about those things because they’re part of their daily lives,” Smith said.

Smith has been working for the campaign since the summer.   

“It’s been great to help on the campaign of a woman who is passionate and amazingly qualified,” Smith said.

More WHEE members also have an opportunity to support the campaign through Fletcher’s new winter fellowship program. Students participating in the fellowship will block walk, take  phone calls, write postcards and help spread the word of the campaign through social media.

A number of students signed up and were eager for the opportunity to help.

“All my friends thought [the winter fellowship] was interesting and they all took flyers,” freshman Lauren Aguilar said.