Upon hearing the news that Tom Lantos had died this week a blanket of great sadness engulfed San Mateo County. Congressman Lantos
represented our district in Washington, DC for almost 28 years and he
was a really important figure to all of us. He will be greatly missed by his constituents and by his colleagues in Congress. His courage, his outspokenness, and his deep caring of those without a voice will be lost forever from the halls of Congress. He leaves very big shoes to fill.
Even prior to the news that Lantos was suffering from cancer, there
was a lot of movement about a serious challenge for his seat in
Congress. Many people felt it was time for a new voice and when
Jackie Spier starting showing interest in running against Lantos, many
felt it would be a good thing to have a strong challenger run against
him in June. In January, when Lantos announced that he had cancer, Jackie Spier came forward and said she was going to run for his seat with Tom’s blessings.
Now, with the death of our beloved Congressman, we anticipate seeing former State Senator Jackie Spier, a very courageous woman who too has known suffering, will stand where Lantos once did and represent San
Mateo County in Congress. The formality of a special election is needed but once it has been set and taken place, we will see the next phase of representation for our County by a strong advocate for our rights and freedoms. Although her feet are smaller than Tom’s, we hope to see her fill his shoes one day.
San Mateo County has been especially blessed with some amazing Congressional representatives during the past three decades. From Congressman Leo Ryan, who was tragically murdered while on a fact-finding trip for Congress to Congressman Tom Lantos we were well served by strong and intelligent representatives and now we’re on to the next chapter. His voice may have been silenced but his memory and hard work for those disenfranchised in the world had not ended.
May his memory be inscribed in The Book of Life.