LANCASTER — Lancaster City Council member Angela Underwood-Jacobs is suspending her campaign for Congress and supporting former Rep. Steve Knight, Underwood-Jacobs announced Monday.
She declared her intention to campaign for the 25th District seat in April. At the time, the incumbent representative was freshman Democrat Katie Hill. Hill, 32, was elected to Congress amid the 2018 “Blue Wave” that gave Democrats control of the House, becoming the first Democrat to represent the 25th District in more than half a century.
“I decided to run for Congress when it became clear that Steve Knight would not seek a rematch against Katie Hill,” Underwood-Jacobs said in a statement. “I strongly believed that as a mother, businesswoman and community leader I would be the best candidate to defeat Hill and play a role in making our country stronger, safer and more prosperous. I launched this campaign for the right reasons and had every intention of seeing it through to a victorious Election Day. I have met thousands of amazing people, had hundreds donate and have been blessed with dozens of active volunteers. With the resignation of Hill, this race has become a new type of campaign — a campaign that Congressman Knight has decided to re-enter.
“While it pains me to step aside and suspend my campaign, I know it is the right thing for me to do at this time. Now more than ever Republicans need unity and I believe the right thing to do to get behind the candidate who has the best chance of building the resources to win the primary and ultimately defeat a liberal democrat next November. That is why I am stepping aside and supporting Steve Knight to take back the 25th. I strongly encourage my fellow Republican candidates, supporters and donors to join me as well.”
Hill announced her resignation Oct. 27, following allegations of relations with staff members that triggered a House Ethics Committee investigation and following the online release in conservative outlets, of nude photos of her. Hill denied the allegations of a relationship with a congressional staffer, as the result of a divorce from an abusive husband, but admitted to one with a campaign staff member.
Her resignation changed the dynamic of the race. After Hill’s Oct 27 announcement, Knight posted the following statement on his campaign page: “I am looking to run and am thankful for all the calls encouraging me to return to Congress.”
He made it official two weeks later.
“I have always answered the call to serve and today is no exception,” Knight said in a statement. “I am proud to announce my run to return to Congress. As an Army Veteran, former LAPD officer and a dedicated public official for over 15 years, I have always put my community first. Today is no exception. I am proud to return to public service and deliver the type of representation our district deserves.”
Underwood-Jacobs wasn’t the only Republican who wanted to challenge Hill. Former Navy fighter pilot Mike Garcia, nonprofit CEO Suzette Martinez Valladares and L.A. Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Cripe also announced their respective campaigns to challenge her.
Martinez Valladares later dropped out of the Congressional race to run for the state Assembly. Cripe announced he would drop out of the race the same day Knight announced he would run.
Former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos, who served time in federal prison after pleading guilty to lying to federal investigators, has also filed to run for Hill’s seat.
State Assemblywoman Christy Smith, D-Santa Clarita, launched her bid for the seat the day after Hill announced she would step down.
Cenk Uygur, founder of “The Young Turks,” a progressive news channel on YouTube, announced his candidacy on Thursday.
Other Democratic candidates include David Rudnick, of Lancaster; Getro Franck Elize, of Palmdale; and Christopher Smith, of Los Angeles.
Underwood-Jacobs announced at the Oct. 22 Lancaster City Council meeting that she would resign from the City Council on Dec. 3. Her term is set to expire in April.
On Nov. 5, Mayor R. Rex Parris announced his intent to nominate Deputy Mayor Darrell Dorris to complete Underwood-Jacobs’ term when she was set to step down. However, it was not immediately clear, Monday, whether she will resign as she stated. City officials did not respond to an email request by presstime.