Election 2018: Steve Knight concedes; Democrat Katie Hill wins the 25th Congressional District

Posted on: 11/08/2018 00:00

(dailynews.com) Democrat Katie Hill defeated Republican Steve Knight in Tuesday’s election for the U.S. House of Representatives, scoring a victory for young female candidates while unseating the only GOP member of Congress from a Los Angeles County-based district.

Knight, R-Palmdale, conceded the race Wednesday morning in a phone message to Hill. He later said in a statement: “Our electoral process is integral to our identity as a free and fair society, and the voters have spoken.”

Hill, running her first campaign for public office after heading a homeless-services organization, led Knight with 51.3 percent of the vote, a margin of more than 4,000 votes, in California’s 25th Congressional District. It wasn’t clear how many ballots remained to be counted by L.A. and Ventura county election officials. But the incumbent’s campaign team concluded the deficit was too much to overcome.

Hill said it was a “historic” victory in a part of Southern California where Democrats have struggled for decades.

“I entered this race to serve our community and bring our voice and priorities to Washington,” Hill said in a statement. “I look forward to working on behalf of everyone in this district to ensure we all have access to quality healthcare, housing we can afford and a representative and transparent government which truly serves the people.

“Our goal from day one was to empower this community to have a voice — and with more than 4,000 volunteers and 500,000 doors knocked, we delivered. I am incredibly grateful to everyone who invested their time and energy into this effort. This is just the beginning.”

Hill, 31, won in a year when young people and women jumped into politics in greater numbers. Her win was a victory for LGBT people, since Hill identifies as bisexual. And it was a success for the moderate wing of the Democratic Party, since the Agua Dulce resident had emphasized relatively centrist views in presenting herself as a better representative of the district that includes parts of the San Fernando, Santa Clarita, Simi and Antelope valleys.

Cal State Northridge political science professor Larry Becker said Hill was able to take advantage of a good year for women in politics, a bad year for congressional Republicans like Knight, and demographic shifts that have turned the 25th District from red to light blue.

“Maybe the biggest surprise is that (the result) wasn’t too much of a surprise,” Becker said. “Despite the fact that Steve Knight has a lot of positive name recognition in the district, it’s just a year when Democrats are doing well nationally — and even better in California.”

Hill was a better candidate than Bryan Caforio, the Democrat whom Knight defeated in 2016, Becker said.


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