Rep. Jackie Speier retiring from Congress – Politico

Prior to joining the House, Speier was a longtime member of California’s state legislature and a congressional aide. In 1978, when working as a staff assistant for then-Rep. Leo Ryan (D-Calif.), Speier was part of the U.S. investigative delegation that visited the Jonestown cult community in Guyana.

The delegation was ambushed on an airstrip as its members were attempting to leave the former British colony in South America. Ryan was shot and killed. Speier suffered five gunshot wounds but survived.

“Forty-three years ago this week, I was lying on an airstrip in the jungles of Guyana with five bullet holes in my body. I vowed that if I survived, I would dedicate my life to public service. I lived, and I survived,” she said in a two-minute video announcing her retirement.

Speier hinted her retirement would not be the end of her career in politics, saying ”there’s also another chapter or two in my book of life, and I intend to contribute to you, the communities I love, on the peninsula and in San Francisco and the country.”

California is losing a seat in redistricting for the first time since the state’s founding, but Speier’s deep-blue district on the San Francisco Peninsula is unlikely to be greatly affected.

Several other longtime members of the delegation are also on retirement watch as the state’s redistricting commission moves closer toward finalizing a new map, including Democratic Reps. Grace Napolitano and Lucille Roybal-Allard. Democratic Rep. Karen Bass, meanwhile, is running for Los Angeles mayor and not seeking reelection.

An open House seat is a rare and coveted commodity in the deeply Democratic Bay Area, and her retirement is sure to set off a scramble for a once-in-a-generation opportunity.

Among the possible Democratic contenders to replace Speier are state Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, who served as an aide to Speier and is termed out of his seat in Sacramento in 2024, and state Sen. Josh Becker. Neither committed to a decision Tuesday.

Local government officials could also be in the mix. San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa confirmed he is “seriously” considering a run. While Redwood City Councilmember Giselle Hale said she had not decided on her plans, citing “tremendous respect” for Speier and redistricting, she did not rule out a campaign.

San Mateo Supervisor Dave Pine did not respond to a request for comment. Millbrae City Councilmember Gina Papan said in an email that had been inundated with “inquiries” and “encouragement from people in the community,” adding there would be “a lot to discuss.”

Ally Mutnick in Washington, D.C., and Jeremy B. White in Oakland, California, contributed to this report.