Jackie Speier will not run for reelection to Congress in 2022

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) announced on Tuesday that she will not run for reelection in 2022, becoming the latest House Democrat to bow out of Congress ahead of what is expected to be a difficult election year for the party. 

“Today, I’m announcing that I will not be a candidate for reelection to Congress in 2022,” Speier said in a video announcing her decision.

“It’s time for me to come home,” she added. “Time for me to be more than a weekend wife, mother and friend.”

Speier has had a long career in elected office that began 1980 with a successful run for the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors. She went on to serve in both chambers of California’s state legislature before entering the U.S. House in 2008.

In 1978, while she was serving as an aide to the late Rep. Leo Ryan (D-Calif.), Speier survived being shot five times during a fact-finding mission to Jonestown in Guyana. Ryan was killed during that trip.

Speier is the ninth House Democrat to announce retirement plans ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, when the party will have to defend its razor-thin majority in the lower chamber. A half-dozen other Democratic members are running for other offices next year.

Republicans need to net just five seats next year to recapture control of the House, a prospect that looks increasingly likely given the GOP’s edge in the decennial redistricting process.

Democrats are also facing historical headwinds. The party of a new president almost always loses ground in Congress in midterm elections, and President Biden has seen his approval rating slide sharply in recent months.

Speier was not expected to face a tough reelection bid in 2022. She won reelection last year by a nearly 60-point margin. But lawmaker retirements are often viewed as an early sign of pessimism ahead of an election year.

Speier did not mention her party’s political prospects in her video announcement, saying only that she was ready to leave Washington and contribute in different ways.

“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 that has given me so much,” she said.

Updated at 9:47 a.m.

Tags 2022 midterm elections California House elections Jackie Speier Joe Biden

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