Speier adds her name to the growing list of California’s leaders and organizations coalescing behind Kounalakis’s campaign

San Francisco, CA – Today, Eleni Kounalakis’s campaign for Lt. Governor announced the endorsement of Congresswoman Jackie Speier, who represents San Mateo County and parts of San Francisco. Speier was recently named one of POLITICO’s 50, a “list of thinkers, doers and visionaries whose ideas are driving politics.”

Congresswoman Speier said, “Eleni Kounalakis has the experience - as a businesswoman and a diplomat - to lead California into the future. She will be a fighter for making higher education more affordable and accessible to California's families. There has never been a woman elected Lt. Governor in California, and it's about time.”

“I admire Congresswoman Jackie Speier's leadership in Washington - from combatting sexual assault on college campuses and fighting against sexual harassment in the workplace, to helping reunite families at the border,” Kounalakis said of the endorsement. “When she ran for Lt. Governor in 2006, she made a million cracks in this glass ceiling. I'm proud to have her support, and together we will make history.”

The Kounalakis campaign recently released its internal poll memo, showing Kounalakis with a 16-point lead in an initial head-to-head vote against Ed Hernandez. 

Kounalakis has had a recent wave of powerful endorsements, including President Barack Obama, Senator Dianne Feinstein and former Senator Barbara Boxer. They join Senator Kamala Harris, over a dozen members of Congress, California Federation of Teachers, California League of Conservation Voters, Equality California, NARAL Pro-Choice California, EMILY’s List, Northern California Carpenters Regional Council, California State University Employees Union SEIU 2579, scores of local and state leaders, and over 30 Democratic clubs across California.

Kounalakis was the top vote-getter in the June Primary, winning 28 counties across the state. She is the only Democratic woman in the race for Lt. Governor and would be the first woman elected Lt. Governor in California history. 

She kicked off her campaign in 2017 by visiting all 58 counties. She spent the summer and fall traveling across the state, meeting with Democratic central committees, clubs, and activists, and community leaders. She received the support from over a thousand delegates to the California Democratic Party Convention and has built a base of grassroots support that helped her place first in the primary and will help her win in November.

Eleni Kounalakis served overseas as Ambassador to Hungary in the Obama Administration from 2010-2013, and spent 18 years delivering affordable homes and building housing communities in the Sacramento region. She is a life-long Democrat and five-time delegate to the Democratic National Convention.

She was appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown to lead the California International Trade and Investment Advisory Council and served as a member of the California Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism and the First 5 Commission, where she worked to provide and improve opportunities for early childhood education. 

Kounalakis was born and raised in Sacramento and is a graduate of the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business and Dartmouth College. She and her husband, Markos, live in San Francisco where they are raising their two teenage sons.

Her blend of experience in public service and as a successful businesswoman, economic advisor, and job creator make her uniquely qualified to serve as Lt. Governor. You can learn more about her campaign and see her growing endorsement list at