Jackie Speier: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jackie Speier

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 12th district
Assumed office 
April 8, 2008
Preceded by Tom Lantos

Member of the California Senate
from the 8th district
In office
1998 – 2006
Preceded by Quentin L. Kopp
Succeeded by Leland Yee

Member of the California State Assembly
from the 19th district
In office
1986 – 1996
Preceded by Lou Papan
Succeeded by Lou Papan

In office
1980 – 1986

Born May 14, 1950 (1950-05-14) (age 59)
San Francisco, California
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Barry Dennis
Children Jackson, Stephanie
Residence Hillsborough, California
Alma mater University of California, Davis; University of California, Hastings College of the Law
Occupation Attorney, political assistant
Religion Roman Catholic
Website Congresswoman Jackie Speier

Karen Lorraine Jacqueline Speier, known as Jackie Speier (pronounced /spɪər/) (born May 14, 1950), is the Democratic Representative for California's 12th congressional district.[1][2][3] The district includes the northern two-thirds of San Mateo County (formerly part of the district represented by her political mentor, Leo Ryan) and the southwest quarter of San Francisco.

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.[2]



Speier was born in 1950 in San Francisco and grew up in an apolitical, working-class family. Her mother, Nancy (née Kanchelian), was Armenian American, and her father, Fred Speier, was the son of a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany.[4][5] Speier took Jacqueline as her confirmation name after Jackie Kennedy.[6] She is a graduate of Mercy High School in Burlingame. She earned a B.A. from the University of California, Davis, and a J.D. from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1976.[7]

Speier's first husband, Dr. Steve Sierra,[8] died in a car accident in 1994 at the age of 53.[9] At the time, she was two months pregnant with their second child, a daughter named Stephanie.[9] They also had a son, Jackson Kent, to whom Speier gave birth in 1988[8] while she was serving as a state representative in the California State Assembly, the first woman in that legislature to do so.[9] Speier then supported her children as a widowed single mother before marrying Barry Dennis, an investment consultant, in 2001.[8][10]

Congressional aide

Speier served as a congressional staffer for Congressman Leo Ryan. Speier was part of the November 1978 fact-finding mission to investigate allegations of human rights abuses by the Reverend Jim Jones and his Peoples Temple followers, almost all of whom were American citizens who had moved to Jonestown with Jones in 1977 and 1978.[6] Speier was one of only two members of the mission who were concerned enough about potential violence to make out a will before traveling to Jonestown.[11] 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 attempting 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.[12] The murder of Congressman Ryan was the only assassination of a Congressman in the line of duty in the history of the United States. [13]

That same day, over 900 of the remaining members of the Peoples Temple died in Jonestown and Georgetown. Among historic mass suicides, it was the largest such event in over 1,900 years.

Political career

San Mateo County

Speier's political career began with an unsuccessful run to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Congressman Ryan (the seat she holds now).[6] She lost the Democratic primary to another former Ryan staffer, G.W. "Joe" Holsinger, who went on to lose to the Republican candidate, San Mateo County Supervisor Bill Royer.

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.[12]

California State Assembly

In 1986, midway through her second term on the Board of Supervisors, she 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 as the nominee of both the Democratic and Republican parties[14]

California State Senate

California state term limits forced Speier to give up her Assembly seat 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.[15] As a state senator, Speier was instrumental in securing $127 million funding for major service improvements to Caltrain, for which the commuter rail agency named a new locomotive (no. 925) for her. Speier also focused on representing consumer rights.[16] 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.

Caltrain Locomotive Named after Jackie Speier

Candidate for Lieutenant governor of California

In 2006, Speier ran in the Democratic primary for Lieutenant governor of California against insurance commissioner John Garamendi and state senator Liz Figueroa. At the June 6, 2006, elections, Speier was defeated by Garamendi in a close race. Garamendi received 42.9%, Speier received 39.3%, and Figueroa received the remaining 17.8% of the vote.

2008 presidential campaign

Speier endorsed Hillary Clinton's bid for president,[17] along with numerous other public figures such as Maya Lin, Nita Lowey, Floyd Abrams, and Gloria Steinem.[8]

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives

On January 13, 2008, Speier announced she was running for the House seat being vacated by 14-term representative Tom Lantos, who announced on January 2, 2008, that he was not seeking re-election. Speier had spent much of 2007 building support to challenge Lantos in the Democratic primary.[18]

On January 17, 2008, Lantos endorsed Speier as his successor. She also picked up endorsements from Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, Congressman Mike Thompson and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.

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.[19] Speier easily won the Democratic primary on June 3. The 12th is so heavily Democratic that this virtually assured her of a full term.[20] She was elected to a full term in November with 75 percent of the vote.

On July 11, 2008, Speier introduced her first bill, The Gasoline Savings and Speed Limit Reduction Act, which would set a national speed limit of 60 mph in urban areas and 65 mph on less-populated stretches of highway.

Congressional Committee assignments


Electoral History

California Congressional District 11, special election (round 1), March 6, 1979 [21]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Democratic G. W. Holsinger 20,908 24.3%
Republican William Royer 19,592 22.7%
Democratic George Corey 15,470 18.0%
Democratic Jackie Speier 13,744 16.0%
Republican Les Kelting 6,578 7.6%
Republican Bruce Makar 6,012 7.0%
Democratic Curtiss Landers 1,475 1.7%
Republican Roger B. Canfield 934 1.1%
Democratic Charles T. Plough 731 0.8%
American Independent Nicholas Waeil Kudrovzeff 372 0.4%
Peace and Freedom Wilson Branch 310 0.4%
Totals 86,126 100%
Voter turnout  %
California State Assembly District 19 election, 1986[22]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Democratic Jackie Speier 56,809 73.9%
Republican Michael Rocco 20,010 26.1%
Totals 76,819 100%
Voter turnout  %
Democratic hold
California State Assembly District 19 election, 1988[23]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Democratic Jackie Speier (incumbent) 67,584 77.2%
Republican Robert Silvestri 18,240 20.8%
Peace and Freedom Gene Pepi 1,732 2.0%
Totals 87,556 100%
Voter turnout  %
Democratic hold
California State Assembly District 19 election, 1990[24]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Democratic Jackie Speier (incumbent) 53,359 100%
Totals 53,359 100%
Voter turnout  %
Democratic hold
California State Assembly District 19 election, 1992[25]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Democratic Jackie Speier (incumbent) 108,428 75.1%
Republican Ellyne Berger 36,020 24.9%
Totals 144,448 100%
Voter turnout  %
Democratic hold
California State Assembly District 19 election, 1994[26]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Democratic Jackie Speier (incumbent) 100,602 93.1%
Peace and Freedom David Reichard 7,459 6.9%
Totals 108,061 100%
Voter turnout  %
Democratic hold
California State Senate District 8 election, 1998[27]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Democratic Jackie Speier 167,216 79.2%
Republican Jim Tomlin 43,936 20.8%
Totals 211,152 100%
Voter turnout  %
Democratic gain from Independent
California State Senate District 8 election, 2002[28]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Democratic Jackie Speier (incumbent) 158,999 78.2%
Republican Dennis Zell 38,881 19.1%
Libertarian Robert Fliegler 5,540 2.7%
Totals 203,420 100%
Voter turnout  %
Democratic hold
California Democratic Party Lieutenant Gubernatorial primary election, June 6, 2006[29]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Democratic John Garamendi 1,045,130 42.6%
Democratic Jackie Speier 975,547 39.7%
Democratic Liz Figueroa 436,868 17.7%
Totals 2,457,545 100%
Voter turnout  %
California's 12th Congressional District special election, April 8, 2008[30]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Democratic Jackie Speier 66,279 77.7%
Republican Greg Conlon 7,990 9.4%
Democratic Michelle McMurry 4,546 5.3%
Republican Mike Moloney 4,517 5.3%
Green Barry Hermanson 1,947 2.3%
Independent Kevin Dempsey Peterson (write-in) 2 0.0%
Valid votes 85,281  %
Invalid or blank votes  %
Totals 85,281 100.00%
Voter turnout 25.69%
Democratic hold
United States House of Representatives elections, 2008[31]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Democratic Jackie Speier 200,442 75.2%
Republican Greg Conlon 49,258 18.5%
Peace and Freedom Nathalie Hrizi 5,793 2.2%
Green Barry Hermanson 5,776 2.1%
Libertarian Kevin Dempsey Peterson 5,584 2.0%
Totals 266,853 100%
Voter turnout  %
Democratic hold


See also


  2. ^ a b SFGATE: Voters send Jackie Speier to Washington
  3. ^ California Secretary of State: Special Primary Election - April 8, 2008
  4. ^ SPEIER, Nancy Kanchelian
  5. ^ Smith, Richard Harris (November 21, 2007). "The Miscasting Of Congressman Lantos". California Chronicle (Ultio LLC.). http://www.californiachronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=43481. Retrieved 2008-01-27.  
  6. ^ a b c Haddock, Vicki (November 16, 2003). "Jackie Speier– moving on, moving up: Survivor of Jonestown ambush plans run for lieutenant governor". San Francisco Chronicle. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2003/11/16/INGEM3070L1.DTL&type=printable. Retrieved 2008-01-27.  
  7. ^ Staff (April 2007). "Alumni News". University of California Hastings College of the Law. http://www.uchastings.edu/site_files/newsletter/eNewsletterApr.html. Retrieved 2008-01-27.  
  8. ^ a b c d Jackie Speier at National Names DataBase.
  9. ^ a b c Jackie Speier, Moving On, Moving Up, November 16, 2003, San Francisco Chronicle.
  10. ^ Jackie For Congress: Bio, biography page at 2008 campaign website.
  12. ^ a b Staff (October 2006). "Senator Jackie Speier one of honored guests at banquet". Press Release (Armenian National Committee of America Western Region). http://www.anca.org/press_releases/press_releases.php?prid=644. Retrieved 2008-01-27.  
  13. ^ Jeff Brazil, Jonestown's Horror Fades but Mystery Remain, Los Angeles Times, December 16, 1999
  14. ^ HR 56 (1996) - California State Assembly
  15. ^ California Secreatry of State, Vote2002, State Senate District 8, accessed February 15, 2008, at web.archive.org
  16. ^ Yates, Dana. "Yee looking to make mark". The Daily Journal (San Mateo County's homepage). http://www.smdailyjournal.com/article_preview.php?id=67838. Retrieved 2008-01-27.  
  17. ^ Hillary Clinton For President at National Names DataBase.
  18. ^ Kapochunas, Rachel (January 2, 2008). "California Dems Expected to Vie for Lantos Seat". CQ Politics (Congressional Quarterly Inc.). http://www.cqpolitics.com/wmspage.cfm?docID=news-000002651163. Retrieved 2008-01-27.  
  19. ^ John Wildermuth, San Francisco Chronicle, February 13, 2008, "April 8 primary set to pick Lantos' successor", accessed February 15, 2008
  20. ^ Bishop, Shaun (January 17, 2008). "Lantos endorses Speier as 'our best candidate': 14-term congressman's support comes just days after former state senator announced candidacy". Inside Bay Area (ANG Newspapers). http://www.insidebayarea.com/search/ci_7996173. Retrieved 2008-01-27.  
  21. ^ Our Campaigns "California District 11 - Special Election Race - March 6, 1979," (retrieved on August 4, 2009).
  22. ^ Our Campaigns "California State Assembly 19 Race - November 4, 1986," (retrieved on August 4, 2009).
  23. ^ Our Campaigns "California State Assembly 19 Race - November 8, 1988," (retrieved on August 4, 2009).
  24. ^ Our Campaigns "California State Assembly 19 Race - November 6, 1990," (retrieved on August 4, 2009).
  25. ^ Our Campaigns "California State Assembly 19 Race - November 3, 1992," (retrieved on August 4, 2009).
  26. ^ Our Campaigns "California State Assembly 19 Race - November 8, 1994," (retrieved on August 4, 2009).
  27. ^ Our Campaigns "California State Senate 8 Race - November 3, 1998," (retrieved on August 4, 2009).
  28. ^ Office of the California Secretary of State "State Senator," (retrieved on August 4, 2009).
  29. ^ Office of the California Secretary of State "Lieutenant Governor, by county," (retrieved on August 4, 2009).
  30. ^ Office of the California Secretary of State "Special Election Results United States House of Representatives, District 12 Special Primary Election, April 8, 2008," (retrieved on August 4, 2009).
  31. ^ Office of the California Secretary of State "United States Representative," (retrieved on August 4, 2009).

External links

Election Websites
Media, press
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Tom Lantos
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 12th congressional district

April 10, 2008 – present


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

2005 photo, Jackie Speier.

Karen Lorraine Jacqueline Speier, better known as Jackie Speier (born May 14, 1950), is a former Democratic member of the California State Senate representing San Francisco and San Mateo Counties.


  • We were about to board the planes for the flight back to the United States. Jim Jones didn't want us to leave, at least not alive. A tractor trailer loaded with men armed with shotguns and rifles pulled up and opened fire on us at that airstrip. Congressman Ryan was gunned down, having been shot 40 times. The first and only congressman in the history of this country to be assassinated during the line of duty. I was shot five times and left to bleed on that airstrip for 22 hours. Back at Jonestown, over 900 people lost their lives in a mass murder and suicide that night. This is what I awoke to on that long day. I was 28 years old, and I was waiting to die. I laid awake all night fearing some of the gunmen would come back and finish us off. Time passed, and local Guyanese people offered me rum to try and get me through the night. I had a lot of time to think. I promised God that if I lived, I would make every day count. I promised that I would make something out of my life if I was allowed to keep my life. Well, here I am. I have chosen a career as a public servant. One, I hope many of you will contemplate as you move forward in your lives.
  • Leo Ryan's life and his deeds are about a life that was so much more than Guyana. He was relentless in his search for answers, answers that were not readily available by just asking questions...We remember him today because his story is so much like those of most Americans; we want to believe the best and we sometimes hear the worst.
    • Jackie Speier, quoted in article: "Tribute to congressman Leo Ryan held in Foster City", San Francisco Chronicle, November 18, 2003
  • I'm a big believer that success is never final and failure is never fatal., San Francisco Examiner, April 5, 2008

External Links

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Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010
(Redirected to Author:Jackie Speier article)

From Wikisource

Jackie Speier
See biography, media, quotes, indexes. SPEIER, Karen Lorraine Jacqueline (Jackie), a Representative from California; born in San Francisco, San Francisco County, Calif., May 14, 1950; graduated from Mercy High School, Burlingame, Calif., 1968; B.A., University of California, Davis, Calif., 1972; J.D., University of California Hastings School of Law, San Francisco, Calif., 1976; staff, United States Representative Leo Joseph Ryan of California, 1973-1978; lawyer, private practice; San Mateo County (Calif.) supervisor, 1980-1986; California state assembly, 1986-1998; California state senate, 1998-2006; unsuccessful candidate for governor of California, 2006; unsuccessful candidate for the special election, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Representative Leo Joseph Ryan in the Ninety-Fifth Congress; elected as a Democrat to the One Hundred Tenth Congress, by special election, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Representative Thomas Peter Lantos (April 8, 2008-present). (bioguide)
Jackie Speier



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