Jackie Speier

Former-senator and current representative for California, survivor of the Jonestown shooting

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"Jackie Speier is the U.S. Representative for California's 14th congressional district, serving in Congress since 2008. She is a member of the Democratic Party. The district, numbered as the 12th District from 2008 to 2013, includes the northern two-thirds of San Mateo County and the southwest quarter of San Francisco. She represents much of the territory that had been represented by her political mentor, Leo Ryan.

 

She is also a former member of the California State Senate who represented parts of San Francisco and San Mateo counties. On April 8, 2008, she won the special election for the vacated United States House of Representatives seat of late Congressman Tom Lantos…

 

Speier entered politics by serving as a congressional staffer for Congressman Leo Ryan. Speier was part of his November 1978 fact-finding mission organized to investigate allegations of human rights abuses by Jim Jones and his Peoples Temple followers, almost all of whom were American citizens who had moved to Jonestown, Guyana, with Jones in 1977 and 1978. Speier was one of two members of the mission who made wills before traveling to Jonestown. Several Peoples Temple members ambushed the investigative team and others boarding the plane to leave Jonestown on November 18. Five people died, including Congressman Ryan. While trying to shield herself from rifle and shotgun fire behind small airplane wheels with the other members of the team, Speier was shot five times and waited 22 hours before help arrived. That same day, over 900 of the remaining members of the Peoples Temple died in Jonestown and Georgetown in a mass murder-suicide…

 

Speier won her first election in 1980, when she ran for the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors and defeated a 20-year incumbent. At the time, she was the youngest person ever elected to the board. She was reelected in 1984, and was later selected as chairwoman…

 

In 1986, midway through her second term on the Board of Supervisors, Speier ran for the California State Assembly from a district in northern San Mateo County. She won by a few hundred votes. She was reelected five more times, the last time as the nominee of both the Democratic and Republican parties…

 

State law prevented Speier from running for reelection to the Assembly in 1996, but in 1998 she was elected to the California State Senate. In 2002, she was elected to a second term with 78.2% of the vote… Senator Speier was termed out of the California State Senate in 2006. Speier served as assistant president pro tempore of the California State Senate during her last term…

 

On January 13, 2008, Speier announced she was running in the Democratic primary for the 12th District, Ryan's old district… Lantos died February 11, 2008. Speier won a special primary election on April 8, 2008 to fill the remainder of his term, which ended in January 2009. She won an outright majority, avoiding a runoff that would have been held on June 3, coinciding with the regular primary election.She was elected to a full term in November with 75 percent of the vote and has been reelected three more times with no substantive opposition." (1)

From Wikipedia