Doris Matsui was sworn into the House of Representatives on Thursday after winning a race to fill the seat of her husband, former Representative Robert Matsui (D-CA), who died in January. Representative Matsui (D-CA) won Tuesday’s special election with 69 percent of the vote in a field of 12 candidates. Jeff Raimundo, campaign consultant for Doris Matsui, told the San Francisco Gate that she ran as a “Washington heavyweight in her own right.” Matsui is continuing a successful career in politics with this victory, having served as deputy assistant to the president and as deputy director of public liaison for the Clinton White House, according to the Associated Press.
Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced on Thursday her appointment of Matsui to the House Rules Committee, considered to be one of the most powerful committee in the House. The San Francisco Gate reports that Matsui plans to promote stem cell research, oppose the privatization of Social Security, and support clean energy in order to reduce greenhouse emissions while serving in the House.
Matsui joins three other widows in the House who took over their late husband’s seat, and brings the total number of women serving in the House to 66, in addition to three non-voting delegates (representing Washington, DC, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands). Of the 66 women, 43 are Democrats and 23 are Republicans. Robert Matsui had held the seat for 26 years, and was known as an authority on Social Security.