California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom made a campaign stop in Santa Clarita on Monday, smiling broadly as he engaged a crowd of supporters huddled in the local Democratic Party headquarters in Stevenson Ranch.
More than 200 had gathered there to support Katie Hill and Christy Smith, the challengers in the 25th Congressional District and 38th Assembly District races, respectively. They were also there to hear Newsom’s formal endorsement, as the gubernatorial candidate made his first stop in Santa Clarita on his “Blue California” campaign tour to support candidates in this year’s election, which he described as “the most important of our lifetime.”
Statistics in the 25th Congressional District and 38th Assembly District serve as indicators of the stakes for both political parties in the two races.
The Santa Clarita Valley is part of the only Republican-held congressional district in Los Angeles County, and incumbent Rep. Steve Knight had seven out of eight risk factors for his seat being taken in November, according to the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.
The Cook Political Report rates the 25th Congressional District race as a “toss-up,” and Newsom’s campaign tour was for the purpose of supporting seats that could swing Democratic, said Nathan Click, Newsom’s communications director.
As of May 21, Democratic registration throughout the 38th Assembly District was at 35.12 percent, trailing Republican registration by 0.4 percent, according to the Secretary of State’s office.
Standing at the front of the room, Newsom waved at Hill and Smith standing behind him.
“I want to thank each and every one of you,” he said. “You didn’t have to be here. You didn’t have to support these two outstanding candidates…”
He was cut off by a cheer from several in the crowd: “Yes we do!”
Newsom chuckled, then said: “Except, for the fact, that you knew better. And you’re enlightened. And you recognize the future isn’t just something to experience. It’s something to manifest.”
The gubernatorial candidate cited Hill’s background as director of the homelessness nonprofit PATH, as proof of her commitment to ending one of the biggest issues throughout the state.
Smith’s push for education issues in the Assembly was essentially economic development, he said.
“The folks behind me are the real deal,” he said. “They’ve earned the right to be here.”
Andrew Taban, vice president of the the Democratic Alliance for Action of Santa Clarita, found the atmosphere inspiring.
“It is phenomenal to see the future governor of California come out to support us in the 25th Congressional and 38th Assembly districts,” he said. “It proves a point that our values are actually progressing to represent a more diverse community.”
Click said Hill and Smith were among the handful of six congressional candidates and 15 Assembly candidates that Newsom was joining forces with on his tour.
“This year in particular, the eyes of our nation are on California,” he said. “The makeup of Congress will likely be decided based on how California votes, so we have to get the word out. These candidates are running against officials who are rubber stamps for Donald Trump and vote with him, even when it is hurting their constituents, hardworking California families.
“We’re really excited to be here,” Click said. “And we’re impressed by Katie Hill and Christy Smith.”