OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Democrats are dropping like flies as we head into the 2022 midterm elections and polls suggest a red wave for Republicans is probable.
And now one of the party’s top members, Rep. Jackie Speier, has announced that she too will not be campaigning for re-election as the list of retiring Democrat representatives grows to 8.
“Today, I am announcing that I will not be a candidate for reelection to Congress in 2022,” the representative said in a video shared on Twitter. “It’s time for me to come home, time for me to be more than a weekend wife, mother, and friend. It has 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. I have been deeply touched by your support in good times and bad.”
Speier was a staff assistant to Rep. Leo Ryan in 1978 when she went with a delegation to Jonestown in Guyana.
It was there that they were ambushed. Rep. Ryan was assassinated and Speier was riddled with bullets.
“Forty-three years ago this week, 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 survived,” she said.
— Jackie Speier (@RepSpeier) November 16, 2021
But she hinted that her retirement would not be the end of her life in politics as she said, “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.”
She joins other top Democrat Reps. John Yarmuth of Kentucky, David Price of North Carolina and Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania, among others who have announced their retirements.
Whatever is left of the 2022 dam continues to break. Breaking: https://t.co/17CAmwogJN
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) November 16, 2021
The California representative has been a close ally of House Speaker and fellow California Rep. Nancy Pelosi and there has been speculation that she, too, is considering retirement.
Human Events Senior Editor Jack Posobiec said on Election Day this month, as a red wave swept the nation, that House Speaker and California Rep. Nancy Pelosi is telling people she is heading to retirement.
“Hearing Pelosi is telling people she is not running for re-election tonight. Doesn’t want to be tied to 2022,” he said.
Hearing Pelosi is telling people she is not running for re-election tonight. Doesn't want to be tied to 2022.
— Jacek Posobiec 🇺🇸🇵🇱 (@JackPosobiec) November 3, 2021
Last month, a report from The Atlantic declared that Democrats may already have her replacement if they keep the House majority next year.
“Democratic members of Congress won’t talk about any of this publicly, as if Pelosi might suddenly appear and pull their hearts from their chests,” it said. “Pretty much every Democrat in Congress and beyond is confident that Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York will be the next speaker of the House if Democrats manage to hold on to their majority next year.”
She spoke to CNN host Jake Tapper on a myriad of subjects a week ago and, among those, was her possible election campaign for 2022 when the host asked her if she intended to seek the position again.
“You think I’m going to make an announcement right here and now?” she said.
“You’re gonna run for re-election though, yes?” the host said.
“Why would I tell you that now?” she said as she left.
Democratic House Nancy Pelosi won't say whether or not she plans to run for Speaker again if Democrats keep the House, telling @jaketapper she will that conversation with her family first. pic.twitter.com/BrvnGmcMsr
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) October 24, 2021
“It’s not just me, it’s the American people. It’s the world. This is an international show,” he said.
“Probably I would have that conversation with my family first if you don’t mind,” she said.
And last month Maryland Democrat Rep. Anthony Brown announced he would be retiring from Congress to campaign to become Maryland’s attorney general.
“We’ve made progress over the years, but too many barriers exist for too many Marylanders, from health care and housing to the environment and education, to workplaces, policing and the criminal justice system,” Brown, 59, said in his campaign announcement video. “I’m running for attorney general to dismantle those barriers.”