A first for the 25th

Hill un­seats Knight and be­comes the first woman to rep­re­sent district

The Signal - - Front page - By Crys­tal Duan Sig­nal Staff Writer

Vot­ers in the 25th Con­gres­sional District de­cided Tues­day night to send Demo­cratic chal­lenger Katie Hill to Congress in Rep. Steve Knight’s place next year.

Knight, R-Palm­dale, con­ceded Tues­day’s hotly con­tested 25th Con­gres­sional District race in a phone call to Hill on Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon.

Hill, for­mer di­rec­tor and deputy CEO of a home­less­ness non­profit, won Tues­day’s elec­tion for con­trol of the seat with 51.26 per­cent of the vote pend­ing ad­di­tional pro­vi­sional bal­lots and mail-in bal­lots that have yet to be counted. Knight won 48.74 per­cent of the vote by the time all precincts were counted in the early morn­ing on Wed­nes­day.

Hill’s win comes in a district that many pun­dits had as a “toss-up” district slightly fa­vor­ing the in­cum­bent Knight. She is the first woman to rep­re­sent the district.

New mem­ber ori­en­ta­tion for the fresh­man con­gres­sional class be­gins Mon­day, and Hill said she will head out to D.C. to “learn the ropes.”

“The first things that need to hap­pen is to get our pri­or­i­ties in or­der,” she said. “Here, that’s been made clear that has to be health care, mak­ing sure we’ve got good jobs that are pay­ing well, and re­build­ing our district in terms of in­fra­struc­ture.”

The con­gress­woman-elect said she wants to fo­cus on mak­ing a govern­ment “re­flec­tive of who we are as a peo­ple,” and said she is ex­cited to work with con­gres­sional lead­er­ship on both sides of the aisle and change the tone around pol­i­tics.

First, she wants to work with her pre­de­ces­sor. Al­though she dis­agreed with him on some pol­icy is­sues, Hill be­lieves some of Knight’s bi­par­ti­san ini­tia­tives in Congress should be con­tin­ued.

“I’d like the op­por­tu­nity to talk to Steve Knight dur­ing this tran­si­tion process to fig­ure out what he’s leav­ing off and what I may be able to pick (up),” she said of Knight’s leg­isla­tive work. “I do think there’s a lot that I can con­tinue to carry for­ward, be­cause I do think he was do­ing a fair amount in terms of bi­par­ti­san leg­is­la­tion. And I know he’s been plugged into the district, so I want his ad­vice and feed­back on how to move for­ward. I think there ab­so­lutely is com­mon ground, and I look for­ward to find­ing more of that (with vot­ers).”

Knight, a for­mer LAPD of­fi­cer and vet­eran, had run for of­fice be­cause he wanted to “com­plete some mis­sions.”

“I hope that peo­ple un­der­stand that my whole thought process in run­ning for of­fice was to try and get some­thing done,” he said. “And I think I did a good job at do­ing that. The last four years have been some­thing I’ll never for­get.”

The two-term con­gress­man has his eye on con­tin­u­ing work within the com­mu­nity he has worked to pro­vide health care for.

“I’ll do some­thing,” he said. “I’d love to stay near the vet­eran com­mu­nity. And if I can vol­un­teer and help out and do things with the veterans that’ll be great. I think some op­por­tu­ni­ties are go­ing to present them­selves.”

Hill said she is grate­ful to her con­stituents and takes her new re­spon­si­bil­i­ties very se­ri­ously.

“We have seen a his­toric turnout, and we’ve seen peo­ple in­spired and mo­bi­lized and ready for a change,” she said. “We will not al­ways agree on ev­ery pol­icy, but what I do prom­ise is to be there and be fight­ing for all of us.”

Staffing for the new con­gres­sional of­fice and a ten­ta­tive date for Hill’s first town­hall will hap­pen around December or Jan­uary, ac­cord­ing to her cam­paign.

Hill, a Santa Clarita na­tive, be­gins her term on Jan. 3.

Cory Rubin/The Sig­nal

Katie Hill ad­dresses her sup­port­ers at The Canyon on Tues­day. Hill is set to re­place Steve Knight in Jan­uary.

Dan Wat­son/The Sig­nal

Rep. Steve Knight at­tends an elec­tion night party on Tues­day. Chal­lenger Katie Hill won the 25th Con­gres­sional District race and will start her term next year in Jan­uary.

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