State Watch

Speier endorses California Democrat in race to replace her

Greg Nash

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) endorsed a California assembly member on Monday in the race to replace her in the U.S. House.

Speier threw her support behind Assemblyman Kevin Mullin (D), who is the speaker pro tempore in the California assembly, in his bid to assume her perch in Washington as the representative for California’s 14th Congressional District.

Speier appeared alongside Mullin at a news conference in San Francisco, telling the crowd “I enthusiastically and unequivocally announce my endorsement of Kevin Mullin to replace me in the House of Representatives.”

“And let me tell you why: experience matters, collegiality matters, progressive values matters, delivering matters,” she added.

Speier announced in November that she would not be seeking reelection next year, saying in a video, “It’s time for me to come home, time for me to be more than a weekend wife, mother and friend.” The California Democrat first entered Congress in 2008.

Mullin launched his campaign for Congress a week after Speier’s announcement, writing on Twitter that he was hoping to succeed his mentor.

Mullin was one of the first officials and political figures to put out a statement after Speier’s retirement announcement, writing that the congresswoman is “an icon and a legendary figure in San Mateo County and California legislative and political history.”

He said she will leave “a public legacy of accomplishment that will stand the test of time,” citing her survival in the Jamestown massacre, her “historic legislative record” and her tenure in Congress, marked by holding the powerful accountable. 

The assemblyman also pointed to his relationship with Speier, writing that he “had the privilege of closely observing her in action as her Senate district director and Assembly district aide before that.”

Mullin was elected to the California state assembly in 2012. Before that, he served on the South San Francisco Council for five years, and was district director for Speier when she was a state senator. He also worked as political director for his father, former State Assemblymember Gene Mullin (D).

The district’s primary race is set for June 7, where a number of Democrats are expected to square off for the coveted California seat.

San Mateo County Board of Supervisors President David Canepa and Burlingame Council Member Emily Beach are also running as Democrats, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Republican Gus Mattammal is also running for California’s 14th Congressional District, having originally announced a challenge to Speier, the San Francisco Chronicle noted.

Speier told the San Francisco Chronicle’s podcast on the day of her retirement announcement that she was “not going to pick a successor,” adding, “I think it’s a very smart district, and I think the electorate will make sure that they have someone that represents their interests.”

Asked about those comments when endorsing Mullin on Monday, the congresswoman accused the reporter of “misquoting” her before saying “I was asked, will I anoint someone. I said no, I’m not anointing anyone. What I’m doing here is endorsing a candidate for Congress — the voters of this district will elect its next member,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Tags California California politics House races Jackie Speier Kevin Mullin

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