Lucy Killea

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Lucy Killea (born July 31, 1922)[1] is a former California state senator. She was elected in a special election in 1989, replacing Larry Stirling as the senator for California's 39th State Senate district. Controversy surrounded the election as Leo Thomas Maher, the Catholic bishop of San Diego, prohibited Killea from receiving communion because she was pro-choice; she was the first politician to be punished in such a way for her political views.[2] The incident brought publicity to her candidacy and gained her the voters' sympathy, winning her the election.[3][4] Killea was subsequently re-elected in 1992, switching from the Democratic Party to Independent. She left office in 1996 due to California term limits.[5]


Lucy Killea was nominated and inducted into the San Diego County Women's Hall of Fame in 2002 hosted by Women's Museum of California, Commission on the Status of Women, University of California, San Diego Women's Center, and San Diego State University Women's Studies.


  1. ^ California Green Book. Dutra Communications. 1991. p. 143. 
  2. ^ "A Bishop Says No". Time. November 27, 1989. 
  3. ^ "Abortion and Religion Put Focus on Election". New York Times. December 3, 1989. 
  4. ^ "Bishop Leo Maher, 75; Led San Diego Diocese". New York Times. February 25, 1991. 
  5. ^ "Killea to leave Senate, rules out run for Assembly". Associated Press. April 16, 1996.