Longtime Pro-Abortion Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier Announces Retirement

National   |   Michael Ginsburg   |   Nov 16, 2021   |   12:58PM   |   Washington, DC

Democratic California Rep. Jackie Speier will not run for reelection in 2022, she announced Tuesday.

“It’s time for me to come home. Time for me to be more than a weekend wife, mother, and friend,” Speier said in a video posted to Twitter. First elected to Congress in 2008, Speier’s district covers San Mateo County. A former aide to Democratic California Rep. Leo Ryan, she was shot and nearly killed in the 1978 Jonestown Massacre, when Peoples Temple cult members attempted to prevent Ryan and his team from reporting on the group.

Speier was first elected to the California State Assembly in 1996 and the California State Senate in 1998. She was elected to Congress in a 2008 special election, following the death of longtime Democratic Rep. Tom Lantos.

Speier is an advocate for government-funded abortion and Planned Parenthood, and has participated in “Shout Your Abortion” rallies. A staunch opponent of former President Donald Trump, she compared the Jan. 6 Capitol riot to her experience at the Jonestown Massacre.

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California’s 14th District, which Speier represents, is likely to elect another Democrat to replace her. The district supported Joe Biden in the 2020 election by nearly 60 points, and the California State Legislature will likely redraw the district to remain in Democrat hands.

Speier is the fifteenth House Democrat to decline to run for reelection in 2022 and the ninth to retire outright, according to Ballotpedia. Democratic Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy has also announced his retirement.

Retirements are often a key indicator of a political party’s confidence in maintaining its majority in a congressional chamber. Ahead of the 2018 midterms, when Democrats picked up 41 seats, 23 House Republicans announced their retirements. A recent poll found that 51% of voters would vote for a generic Republican in the 2022 midterms, compared to only 41% for Democrats.