After much speculation, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced Wednesday it “is not the right time” for him to run for the 25th Congressional District seat from which Rep. Katie Hill, D-Agua Dulce, has announced she would resign.
“I am touched and humbled by the encouragement I received to run for the 25th Congressional District, but this is not the right time for me to do so,” he said via Twitter Wednesday morning.
In a prepared statement, the four-year secretary of state and former Los Angeles city councilman added that his current focus revolves around the 2020 Census and the upcoming election as “next year will be extremely consequential for California and the nation, and I believe I can best serve in my current capacity.”
Rumors that he considered running circled for several days following Hill’s resignation announcement Sunday, which came after allegations about her personal life that led to a House Ethics Committee investigation.
Since then, others have thrown their hats into the ring including Assemblywoman Christy Smith, D-Santa Clarita. Former Donald Trump advisor George Papadopoulos officially joined Tuesday when he filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission.
Republican and Democratic candidates who have been in the race for several months — including Lancaster City Councilwoman Angela Underwood Jacobs, former naval officer Mike Garcia and Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Mark Cripe, who are Republicans, and Democratic business owner David Rudnick — have said they are open to competing in a special election to fill Hill’s seat.
Former Rep. Steve Knight, the Republican who was unseated by Hill in the 2018 election, has indicated he is considering running for the seat but has not yet made his candidacy official.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has not yet announced a special election, and would not be expected to do so until Hill confirms her final date serving in the House.