Smith drops out of race for Hill’s seat

Antelope Valley Press - - FRONT PAGE -

PALMDALE — Con­gres­sional can­di­date Christo­pher Smith sus­pended his cam­paign for the 25th Con­gres­sional District seat he an­nounced Tues­day, in a state­ment.

The seat was va­cated by Katie Hill in Oc­to­ber, amid an ethics probe into sex­ual im­pro­pri­ety.

Smith con­cluded that there was no vi­able path to securing a spot in the runoff. Last week, he chose not to file nom­i­na­tion pa­per­work for the spe­cial elec­tion to limit voter con­fu­sion as the pri­mary process will be dif­fer­ent than prior years and more com­plex with two sep­a­rate bal­lots.

Mov­ing for­ward, Smith calls on all cam­paigns to mod­er­ate their tone in the re­main­ing weeks ahead.

“I tried to run a re­spect­ful cam­paign from a place of in­tegrity,” he said. “I re­gret that this race has be­come so di­vi­sive among the lo­cal Demo­cratic Party and pro­gres­sive groups. I call on all cam­paigns to mod­er­ate their tone and to rec­og­nize that all can­di­dates are seek­ing to serve their com­mu­nity and de­serve each other’s re­spect.”

Smith will not for­mally en­dorse any can­di­date, but he en­cour­ages vot­ers to sup­port the can­di­date they feel is a strong leader on pro­gres­sive poli­cies like Medi­care For All, The Green New Deal, com­pas­sion­ate im­mi­gra­tion re­form and a $15 an hour liv­ing wage.

“The stakes of this elec­tion couldn’t be higher,” he said in a state­ment. “The only way we are go­ing to solve the com­plex prob­lems fac­ing our coun­try is to em­brace a pro­gres­sive agenda. This in­cludes poli­cies that pro­mote in­come equal­ity, ad­dress the ur­gency of the cli­mate cri­sis, and treats mi­grants and refugees with the com­pas­sion they de­serve as hu­man be­ings. The goal for ev­ery politi­cian and pub­lic ser­vant should be to cre­ate a more just and sus­tain­able world. As vot­ers, we must keep this larger per­spec­tive in mind when making our choice in the bal­lot box.

“Among the re­main­ing field, the pro­gres­sive can­di­date with the best chance of win­ning is Cenk Uygur. While I do not agree with some of his past po­si­tions or state­ments, Uygur is aligned with my po­si­tions on most is­sues. From my per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence, he has run a good and hon­est cam­paign and has shown to me that he has lis­tened to past cri­tiques of his style and grown from them. I think he would be a strong fighter for the district in Wash­ing­ton.

“I highly re­spect Ani­bal Valdez-Ortega and Getro El­ize and think that they will also make won­der­ful rep­re­sen­ta­tives for the district. It is en­cour­ag­ing to see a new gen­er­a­tion of pro­gres­sive lead­ers of color in the district step­ping up and fight­ing for a bet­ter fu­ture for the com­mu­nity.”

Smith will re­lease a per­sonal state­ment in the com­ing days for his sup­port­ers. His name will re­main on the bal­lot for the Novem­ber 2020 elec­tion, but he en­cour­ages vot­ers not to vote for him.

SMITH

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