Shannon Hutcheson grew up in a working-class Texas family — her father worked for the post office, her uncle built cars for General Motors, and her grandfather sewed mattresses for Simmons Mattress. Her mother ultimately became a public school teacher.
Shannon’s parents divorced when she was six years old, requiring her to grow up quickly, and to care for her five younger siblings so that her mother could get an education and provide for her family. At times, Shannon and her siblings lived with their great-grandmother, who was a lifelong inspiration for Shannon. Orphaned as a child, Shannon’s great-grandmother survived the Great Depression, worked as a Rosie the Riveter during WWII, and in 1963, obtained a court order to remove her “disability” — the “disability” of being a woman — so she could have a bank account and get a job in real estate. She kept the order in her sock drawer, taking it out to show Shannon, reminding her there is no obstacle you can’t overcome if you are hardworking, resourceful and persistent. Today, that order hangs in Shannon’s house serving as a daily reminder of these values.
Through work-study grants and scholarships, Shannon graduated from Austin College with Departmental Honors. She then went to the University of Texas School of Law, graduating in 1996 in the top 10% of her class. The following year, Shannon married her husband, Mark, who is also an attorney, and proudly served for 8 years in the United States Marine Corps Reserves.
Shannon and Mark began their married lives with almost $200,000 in student loan debt. She joined the top tier law firm of Baker Botts LLP as one of the youngest lawyers ever hired by the firm. Shannon eventually worked her way up to be the most senior woman in the firm’s Austin trial department.
In 2008, with her student loan debts finally paid off, Shannon decided to chart her own course, eventually starting a small, woman-owned law firm, Hutcheson Bowers, with her longtime friend and colleague, Allison Bowers. Having her own firm allowed Shannon the time and flexibility to work on the causes that are important to her, including reproductive justice and access to high-quality healthcare, rooting out violence in our communities, and advocating for survivors of abuse. Hutcheson Bowers was recognized as the Law Firm of the Year in 2014 by the Travis County Women Lawyers’ Association.
For almost ten years, Shannon has done legal work for Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas. As someone who relied on Planned Parenthood for her own healthcare, Shannon recognizes the vital role that Planned Parenthood plays in providing trusted, preventive healthcare to thousands of Texans, helping them to lead healthy and productive lives.
Shannon knows firsthand the importance of access to affordable, high-quality healthcare. Her father was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer when she was 18 years old – a disease he battled for the next 11 years. More recently, Shannon’s daughter was hospitalized with a serious illness which required emergency surgery. While she had insurance, the out-of-pocket costs were still staggering.
Just as she has worked to provide for and protect her siblings, parents, and family, Shannon has been a champion for women and families across Texas. She served on the Board of Austin Children’s Shelter, helping oversee its merger with SafePlace to form The SAFE Alliance. Shannon continued to serve on the Board of SAFE, which provides holistic support services to survivors of child abuse, domestic violence, sex trafficking, and sexual assault, and she was a founding member of Women of Hope, a women’s organization focused on fundraising for SAFE.
Today, Shannon is running for Congress in the 10th Congressional District to fight for working Texas families. Now more than ever we need to elect leaders who are accessible, accountable and transparent; leaders who will achieve concrete results for us– ensuring everyone has access to affordable, quality healthcare, providing our children with a good education without crushing debt, and creating economic opportunity for everyone, not just the wealthy. Shannon is committed to being that kind of leader and will fight every single day to make life better for the people in her district.
Shannon lives in Austin with her husband, Mark, and their daughters, Emma and Hanna.