After the House’s vote on Wednesday to impeach President Trump, candidates running in the 25th Congressional District race expressed varied feelings about the historic outcome, but were clearly divided along party lines.
The Democratic-controlled House approved two articles of impeachment — one accusing Trump of abusing his power by asking Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate political rival Joe Biden and the role of his son, Hunter, in a Ukrainian gas company; and, one accusing the president of obstructing the congressional investigation into his July phone conversation with Zelensky.
The 25th Congressional District, which covers the Santa Clarita, Simi and Antelope valleys, currently has no representative in office, following former Rep. Katie Hill’s resignation amid a House Ethics Committee investigation regarding allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a staff member.
With a vacant congressional seat, a representative voice for the district has been absent throughout the process, but candidates in the run for Hill’s former seat had a lot to say about Wednesday’s vote:
“No one is above the law, regardless of party. It is shameful that an American president abused the power of the office to support his political campaign and obstruct Congress.” — Christy Smith, Assemblywoman for the 38th District
“The impeachment vote is an unfortunate but necessary step in the effort to hold the president accountable for his severe abuse of power. I have no doubt that if the Senate were to hold a fair trial, and that the members voted based solely on the evidence, Trump would be found guilty and summarily removed from office.” — Christopher Smith, filmmaker
“The U.S. House of Representatives was on the right side of history today when they voted to impeach the most corrupt president that this nation has ever witnessed. Let’s make sure that we, as a nation, are on the right side of history when our children read about this corrupt president and the crimes of impeachment he has committed.” — Cenk Uygur, founder of progressive news and opinion channel “The Young Turks”
“While the extreme liberals in Washington hold hostage the congressional agenda so they can push their socialist policies, America seeks to move forward to a more prosperous economy and safer nation. Winners look toward the next race and not the last. We need to let the voters decide in November 2020. As we look toward the next election, it’s time for new leadership in Congress and to get America back on track.” — Mike Garcia, executive at Raytheon
“Congress can do better. This has been a partisan inquisition from the beginning. It’s time to put this shameful moment in history behind us and get back to work for the American people.” — Steve Knight, former 25th Congressional District representative
“As someone who wants to represent the people of the 25th Congressional District, I think there are better ways to spend $45,000,000 of our tax dollars than on the impeachment process. We have people in this district living paycheck to paycheck, commuting over two hours one way to work, struggling to juggle family and work-life balance, yet we have Congress spending time, energy and funds on something that they know will never make it through the Senate.” — Courtney Lackey, managing director of a real estate firm
“The partisan impeachment vote sets a bad precedent, further divides our country and does nothing to bring people together to solve problems for the hard-working people of the 25th District. Sadly, instead of encouraging their party to bring people together, my Democrat opponents have applauded this political stunt.” — George Papadopoulos, author and former Trump aide
Local party groups
“We’re disappointed at the way the process took place, and now it looks like Ms. (Nancy) Pelosi is playing some mafia games, holding up the articles. Why are we in such a rush to vote if we’re not willing to put that through? We will see how this will play out.” — Joe Messina, spokesman for the Republican Central Committee for the SCV.
“The last three months of impeachment hearings were an opportunity to shine a light on the activities of the Trump administration. Regardless of what happens in the Senate, the American people now know what the administration has been up to. This process is important to a well-informed electorate as they decide who the next president should be.” — Chad Kampbell, president of Democratic Alliance for Action of Santa Clarita
What happens next
The Senate, which is made up of 53 Republicans and 45 Democrats — plus two independents who caucus with the Democrats — is expected to receive the articles of impeachment and vote to acquit or convict Trump in a trial. A two-thirds majority vote would be needed to convict the president.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday she would wait to send the articles to the Senate, so it is not yet certain when or if the Senate process will be triggered. One they are received, the trial can begin, which could take place in January.