Longtime California Democrat Rep. Jackie Speier retiring

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) will be retiring from her position in 2022, leaving Democrats with another strong blue seat to hold onto in the upcoming midterms. 

According to The New York Post, the California Democrat announced on Tuesday that she will not be launching a reelection campaign, saying in a Twitter video announcing her decision that “It’s time for me to come home.”

The congresswoman has held a place in the lower legislative house since 2008 when she found her place on the national stage due, in no small part, to her unique origin story.

Speier vividly remembers the 1978 assassination of Rep. Leo Ryan (D-Calif.) by the followers of cult leader Jim Jones.

Shortly before the group was involved in their now infamous mass murder-suicide, they assassinated Ryan, who the congresswoman worked for as a staffer at the time. Speier was shot five times, but survived the attack:

“Forty-three years ago this week, I was lying on an airstrip in the jungles of Guyana with five bullet holes in my body,” Speier said. “I vowed that if I survived, I would dedicate my life to public service.”

“It has been a remarkable journey that has surpassed my wildest dreams,” she added. “Today, I’m announcing that I will not be a candidate for reelection to Congress in 2022.”

The 71-year-old Spier represents a firmly Democratic seat in the San Francisco Bay area, according to the Post, which seems to have made the Democrat confident she could leave the position to “be more than a weekend wife, mother and friend.”

“I know what it’s like to lie in bed at night, wondering if I was the one who had done something wrong,” she said in 2017, encouraging other women who worked at the Capitol and who had been subjected to harassment to come forward. “I know what it’s like years later to remember that rush of humiliation and anger.”