Less than a day after the Democratic Party’s convention in San Diego ended, the party’s choice for the 38th Assembly District has switched her support for the 25th Congressional District race.
Christy Smith, a member of the Newhall School District Governing Board who garnered the party’s endorsement with a convention vote over the weekend, has endorsed congressional candidate Katie Hill in the June primary race for the seat held by Congressman Steve Knight, R-Palmdale.
“Katie Hill has demonstrated here strength as a candidate and future representative through her steadfast positive approach to her campaign,” Smith said in a news release obtained by The Signal. “We have a shared vision for reaching every voter in the district we call home and serving our community with fairness, balance and dedication. I’m pleased to endorse Katie for Congress in the 25th District.”
Smith’s change of heart comes after a convention in San Diego where no candidate managed to gain the necessary 60 percent threshold for the party’s endorsement for the 25th Congressional District race. The list of candidates also includes attorney Bryan Caforio; Hill, a former homelessness nonprofit executive; geologist Jess Phoenix; pharmacologist Mike Masterman-Smith; and immigration attorney Scott McVarish. Only Caforio and Hill garnered delegate votes.
Caforio, who was the Democratic challenger for the seat in November 2016, ended with 28 delegate votes; Hill had 8; and 17 delegates voted to not endorse anyone.
Smith previously endorsed Bryan Caforio, who faced Knight in November 2016. Caforio had more than 70 percent of a pre-endorsement vote in January.
“This community deserves leaders with integrity, and Bryan is focused on bringing that type of leadership to the 25th District. That’s why all 18 labor unions to endorse have endorsed Bryan, all the Democratic clubs in the district to endorse have endorsed Bryan, and dozens of local leaders from every corner of the District support Bryan,” said Caforio campaign manager Nicole DeMont. “This weekend Bryan was the clear choice of Democrats in the District, receiving more than three times as many votes as his closest opponent at the State Convention. That also echoes the most recent polling, which shows Bryan with double the vote share of any other Democrat in the race, so we will continue sharing our progressive message throughout the community as we focus on getting a representative in office who will fight for us.”
Hill’s campaign issued the following statement:
“Christy Smith is a tireless fighter for our community and is an incredible example to anyone seeking public office,” Hill said in the release. “I have deep admiration and respect for Christy and I know she will be an excellent representative for our community as an Assemblymember. I am honored to have her support and look forward to working with her on our campaigns and once we are both in office.”
California’s primary election is set to take place June 5.