Eddie Bernice Johnson became the first black woman from Dallas County elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1972. She held her state house seat until 1977.
During her tenure in the Texas House she was the first woman in the history of the state to chair a major House committee when she won the House Labor Committee chairmanship in 1974.
Active in Democratic Party politics, Johnson was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1976 and 1984, and vice chairwoman of the Texas Democratic Party from 1976-1977. She was an executive committeewoman from 1972-1976.
She resigned from the Legislature in 1977 when appointed to HEW, then resumed her political career in 1986 when elected to the Texas Senate.
She was elected to the U.S. House in 1992 with 74 percent of the vote, defeating Republican Lucy Cain.
She defeated Cain again in 1994 with 73 percent.
Johnson won re-election in 1996, defeating Republican John Hendry with 55 percent of the vote.
In 1998, Johnson was re-elected, defeating Republican Carrie Kelleher with 70 percent of the vote.
She won re-election in 2000 with 92 percent of the vote. In 2002, she was re-elected with 74 percent of the vote.
She faced no major party opposition in 2004.