Retired U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier running for San Mateo County supervisor

Retired U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier is running for a seat on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, which is where she launched her political career more than 40 years ago.

"I know from experience that local action can make a huge difference for us all, and I’m concerned that our quality of life in San Mateo County faces big challenges," Speier said in a news release sent Tuesday, announcing her candidacy for a seat on the five-member board.

The Democrat from the San Francisco Bay Area suburb of Hillsborough announced in 2021 that she would not run for reelection to Congress, citing a desire to return home to be with her family and the people she has represented since 2008.

Speier served on the county board of supervisors from 1980 to 1986 before winning seats in the state Legislature and then Congress.

"While not unprecedented, it has definitely been a while since a California member of Congress has returned to local government," said Alex Vassar, spokesperson at the California State Library. "Karen Bass did, but her local government was becoming the mayor of Los Angeles."

Janice Hahn and Hilda Solis are also former members of Congress turned county supervisors. But their county — Los Angeles — is the most populous in the U.S. with nearly 10 million residents.

San Mateo County is a coastal community south of San Francisco and has about 740,000 people. Like the rest of the Bay Area, the county struggles with a lack of affordable housing and deep income inequality.

In the news release, she said she wants to make childcare more affordable and to build more affordable housing.

"When I announced that I was not running for re-election to Congress, I made clear that I was not done and not retiring," she said. "I believe I have found the path where I can make the greatest contribution to those I have represented for so many years."

Speier is running for a seat held by a supervisor who is termed out of office. The election is in March.