Lloyd Doggett served in the state Senate from 1973 to 1985. He lost a bid for the U.S. Senate in 1984 to Republican Sen. Phil Gramm. Doggett received 41 percent of the vote.
He served on the state Supreme Court from 1989 to 1995. He was elected to the U.S. House in 1994 with 56 percent of the vote, defeating Republican A. Jo Baylor. He was re-elected in 1996 with 56 percent of the vote against Republican Teresa Doggett (no relation). Doggett was re-elected in 1998 without major party opposition. In 2000, Doggett was re-elected with 85 percent of the vote.
In 2002, he won re-election with 84 percent of the vote.
In 2003, Republicans dramatically altered the boundaries of his district to make it overwhelmingly Republican in attempt to eliminate Doggett. Instead he jumped to the predominantly Hispanic District 25 and beat former Laredo judge Leticia Hinojosa with 64 percent of the vote.
He faced Rebecca Armendariz Klein in the general election. She resigned her seat as chairwoman of the Public Utility Commission in hopes that a Hispanic woman could beat Doggett in the race to represent District 25, which is predominantly Hispanic.