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.