Not long after retiring from Congress, former San Mateo County Rep. Jackie Speier is running for office again, this time for the same county supervisor seat she held almost 40 years ago.
It's barely been nine months since Jackie Speier stepped away from politics, but it sounds like she is itching to get her hands dirty again. Speier announced her retirement in November 2021, saying that she wanted to prioritize her family. "It's time for me to come home, time for me to be more than a weekend wife, mother and friend," she said at the time.
Speier, 73, has ostensibly been doing a retirement gig with ABC 7, serving as the station's political analyst since earlier this year. But now, as the Chronicle reports, she's decided to reclaim her seat on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, which she last held in 1986.
In a statement released late Tuesday, Speier said, "I will use the skills I’ve honed, the relationships I’ve built, and the experiences I’ve earned to fix problems our community confronts. I know from experience that local action can make a huge difference for us all, and I’m concerned that our quality of life in San Mateo County faces big challenges."
Speier will now run to replace District 1 Supervisor Dave Pine, who is termed out — and two candidates who had been running for the seat have already dropped out, per the Chronicle. One of those candidates, Emily Beach, tweeted Tuesday, "Grateful to my supporters and proud of the race we ran. I'm sorry this wasn't the time and opportunity we hoped for. Join me in endorsing Congresswoman [Jackie Speier."
Speier was first elected to the county board in 1980, two years after her fateful trip to Jonestown, Guyana with Rep. Leo Ryan, for whom she worked as an aide. The pair were part of an outreach mission to the Peoples Temple Agricultural Project in November 1978, seeking to learn more about Bay Area residents who had moved there and whether they were staying in the country under duress. The visit prompted cult leader Jim Jones to put his endgame into motion, and as he gathered Peoples Temple members to commit mass suicide, he ordered gunmen to kill Ryan and his entourage at the nearby airstrip.
Speier was shot five times but managed to play dead and survive for 22 hours until help arrived. She said, in her retirement announcement, "I vowed that if I survived I would dedicate my life to public service. I lived, and I served."
Speier tried running for Ryan's House seat in 1980 but lost in the primary, and decided to start smaller with her career, running successfully for the Board of Supervisors. She was reelected to the seat in 1984, but left midterm after being elected to the state Assembly in 1986. She would ultimately be elected to Congress in 2008.
Her replacement in the House, her former staffer, Rep. Kevin Mullin, tells the Chronicle that he's "not surprised" his former boss would decide to re-enter politics so soon. "I knew it was a possibility given her energy level and love of service. She brings gravitas and a lifetime of public service experience to the role," Mullin says.
In recent months, Speier has been railing on former President Donald Trump on Twitter/X, most recently calling out a post of his on Truth Social about her colleague Nancy Pelosi, saying, "The vitriol from this man is demonic."