PALMDALE  — Congressional candidate Christopher Smith suspended his campaign for the 25th Congressional District seat he announced Tuesday, in a statement.

The seat was vacated by Katie Hill in October, amid an ethics probe into sexual impropriety.

Smith concluded that there was no viable path to securing a spot in the runoff. Last week, he chose not to file nomination paperwork for the special election to limit voter confusion as the primary process will be different than prior years and more complex with two separate ballots.

Moving forward, Smith calls on all campaigns to moderate their tone in the remaining weeks ahead.

“I tried to run a respectful campaign from a place of integrity,” he said. “I regret that this race has become so divisive among the local Democratic Party and progressive groups. I call on all campaigns to moderate their tone and to recognize that all candidates are seeking to serve their community and deserve each other’s respect.”

Smith will not formally endorse any candidate, but he encourages voters to support the candidate they feel is a strong leader on progressive policies like Medicare For All, The Green New Deal, compassionate immigration reform and a $15 an hour living wage.

“The stakes of this election couldn’t be higher,” he said in a statement. “The only way we are going to solve the complex problems facing our country is to embrace a progressive agenda. This includes policies that promote income equality, address the urgency of the climate crisis, and treats migrants and refugees with the compassion they deserve as human beings. The goal for every politician and public servant should be to create a more just and sustainable world. As voters, we must keep this larger perspective in mind when making our choice in the ballot box.

“Among the remaining field, the progressive candidate with the best chance of winning is Cenk Uygur. While I do not agree with some of his past positions or statements, Uygur is aligned with my positions on most issues. From my personal experience, he has run a good and honest campaign and has shown to me that he has listened to past critiques of his style and grown from them. I think he would be a strong fighter for the district in Washington.

“I highly respect Anibal Valdez-Ortega and Getro Elize and think that they will also make wonderful representatives for the district. It is encouraging to see a new generation of progressive leaders of color in the district stepping up and fighting for a better future for the community.”

Smith will release a personal statement in the coming days for his supporters. His name will remain on the ballot for the November 2020 election, but he encourages voters not to vote for him.

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