Steve Knight, the Republican who represented California’s 25th congressional district before losing to Katie Hill in the 2018 midterm elections, announced Saturday that he will seek to regain his seat in an upcoming special election.
In a statement, Knight said: “I have always answered the call to serve and today is no exception. I am proud to announce my run to return to Congress. As an Army Veteran, former LAPD officer, and a dedicated public official for over 15 years, I have always put my community first. Today is no exception. I am proud to return to public service and deliver the type of representation our district deserves.”
Inbox: Former GOP Rep Steve Knight will make a comeback bid in the still-unscheduled #CA25 special election.
— Ally Mutnick (@allymutnick) November 9, 2019
Knight attempted to defend his seat against Hill by pointing to his track record of fighting for the district, and Hill’s relative ignorance of important local issues. Hill emphasized emotive national issues, such as the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, which enraged left-wing groups. She was one of seven Democrats to flip Republican-held seats in California where voters had supported Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in 2016.
Hill resigned last month over allegations that she had violated House of Representatives rules by dating a male member of her staff. She denied that, but acknowledged dating a female member of her campaign staff. Salacious photographs of her with her female lover were leaked online, evidently in an effort to damage her political career. Hill, who said she was bisexual when running for the seat, said she was being victimized by her estranged husband.
Knight is not the first Republican to enter the race. Others have, as well, including former Navy fighter pilot Mike Garcia, who is running on “Constitution, Capitalism, and Competition.” He issued a statement after Hill resigned:
Katie Hill did the right thing by resigning from Congress. The past week has been a complete distraction from the important work that needs to be done, and it’s time for our district to move forward and unite around a leader. Now more than ever, we must elect someone who will represent the needs of our community with integrity and a true desire to put service to country above all else; a citizen legislator with a track record of success and accomplishing the mission. I look forward to continue spreading our message of defending freedom just as I did during my nearly twenty years as a Navy fighter pilot and officer. Now is the time to unite as a district around one leader.
Others running include former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos, a central target in Democrats’ effort to enlist law enforcement intelligence agencies in finding evidence of collusion between the campaign and the Russian government. That effort came up short, and Papadopoulos is seen on the right as a victim of the media and the state.
There is renewed appetite among Republicans for congressional challenges in swing districts after early polls suggest that Democrats’ ongoing efforts to impeach Donald Trump are disliked by voters in those areas.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.