After teasing an announcement since October, former Donald Trump aide George Papadopoulos said Wednesday he’s running to fill the vacant 25th Congressional District seat with an America-first agenda and a promise to bring the Santa Clarita Valley more federal assistance for infrastructure.
The 32-year-old candidate made the statement Monday on Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends,” saying, “It’s time to return the seat back to Republicans and support the ideals of the district and putting America first.”
He will run as a Republican in the district, which represents the Santa Clarita, Simi and Antelope valleys. The GOP held the seat for 26 years before former Rep. Katie Hill won the seat in 2018. Hill resigned from Congress early this month, shortly after the House Ethics Committee launched an investigation into allegations that she had an intimate relationship with a staff member.
Indication of Papadopoulos’ run came to light on Oct. 29, when he filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission. The former Trump aide served 12 days in prison after he pleaded guilty in 2017 for lying to FBI agents as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference.
On Wednesday via email, Papadopoulos said his top issues center on establishing strong foreign policy by “pushing for strong and national defense, while avoiding foreign entanglements”; rebuilding what he called failing infrastructure with “reliable roads, a dependable electrical grid, ample water supplies and affordable energy;” and, primarily, a strong middle-class economy.
“No one should have to move out of the state just to provide for their family,” he said. “I will work with (Trump) to pass a middle-class tax cut and advocate for policies that support middle-class wage and job growth.”
Papadopoulos said he has spoken with 25th District residents and “became convinced that there was a need for a candidate who can work with the (Trump) administration” and that they “don’t care about partisan squabbles. They need and deserve for their politicians to work together and get things done.”
Particularly on the Santa Clarita Valley, he said it “needs more federal assistance for infrastructure. Gov. (Gavin) Newsom has already started taking gas tax money meant for roads to use on pet projects like bike trails and the train to nowhere. I will work with the administration to get us more water and pass an infrastructure bill.”
Papadopoulos said he moved to California two years ago, and when asked if he resided in the 25th District, he responded in an email: “I am focused on policies that will deliver results. I will let others focus on arbitrary lines.”
Papadopoulos joins the campaign trail with multiple candidates including former Republican Rep. Steve Knight, Republican Mike Garcia, and Assemblywoman Christy Smith, D-Santa Clarita. Several have joined the race following Hill’s resignation last month. Newsom scheduled a special election primary for March 3.
Papadopoulos said he’s planning several campaign events throughout the district.