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Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier announces she will not run for re-election

Speier has served in Congress since 2008 and is a close ally of Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

WASHINGTON — Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., announced Tuesday that she will not run for re-election next year after serving in Congress since 2008, the latest powerful Democrat to opt not to remain in the chamber as the party looks ahead to potentially losing control of the House.

“It's time for me to come home; time for me to be more than a weekend wife, mother and friend," Speier, 71, said announcing her decision. "It's been an extraordinary privilege and honor to represent the people of San Mateo County and San Francisco at almost every level of government for nearly four decades.”

Speier, a close ally of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, shared the her decision in a video posted on social media in which she referenced when she survived being shot in Guyana in 1978 in what became known as the Jonestown cult massacre.

“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 served,” she said.

Speier had been part of a delegation that traveled to the South American nation on behalf of some of the families of cult members to try to convince them to leave. The cult's leader ordered the delegation of politicians to be shot and the members to drink poison, resulting in mass deaths. Speier, who was a congressional aide at the time, survived but five others, including a member of Congress and two journalists, died.

She also said that “there’s also another chapter or two” in her life and said she still plans to devote her time toward helping her community in California and the country.

The California Democrat, a co-chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus, spearheaded the Me Too movement in Congress several years ago when she shared her story of sexual harassment from her experience as a congressional aide. She was a major contributor to legislative reforms that were signed into law in 2018 that aimed to address sexual harassment on Capitol Hill.

Before coming to Congress, Speier also served in California’s legislature, in the Senate as well as the state assembly. Her seat, California’s 14th congressional district, is considered to be very safe for Democrats. Speier is the 14th House Democrat to announce she is not running for re-election.