Jackie Speier, survivor of 1978 Jonestown cult deaths, to retire from Congress

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“Longtime California Rep. Jackie Speier, who first ran for office after surviving a 1978 ambush by cult followers that killed her congressman boss, said Tuesday that she would not seek reelection. The seven-term congresswoman’s decision to step down from a safe Democratic seat in the San Francisco Bay Area makes her the latest House Democrat to announce retirement ahead of a fraught 2022 midterm election cycle, a troubling sign for Democrats clinging to a narrow majority. Speier said in a video message that it was an ‘extraordinary privilege’ to serve. But after nearly 40 years in public office at the local, state and federal level, it was time to step aside, she said. … Speier recalled how she was inspired to pursue a career in public service after she accompanied her boss, Rep. Leo J. Ryan, on a flight to Guyana in a disastrous 1978 attempt to rescue 900 followers of the cult leader Jim Jones.” (11/16/21)