PALMDALE — The California Secretary of State’s certified list of 12 candidates for the special primary for the 25th Congressional District seat has six Democrats and six Republicans.
The district includes Palmdale, part of Lancaster, Santa Clarita and Simi Valley. The seat has been vacant since former Democratic Rep. Katie Hill resigned last November.
The candidate who wins the special primary election, or a run-off election if no candidate gets more than 50% of the vote, will serve until January 2021 when the seat expires.
The Democratic candidates are Assemblywoman Christy Smith, progressive journalist Cenk Uygur, patient resource worker Getro Elize, attorney/community organizer Aníbal Valdéz-Ortega, business owner F. David Rudnick, and university professor Robert Cooper III.
The Republican candidates are Steve Knight, who lost the seat to Hill in November 2018, small businessman and father Mike Garcia, attorney/business owner David Lozano, mother and businesswoman Courtney Lackey, Santa Clarita telecommunications executive Kenneth Jenks, and business owner/father Daniel Mercuri.
Former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos, who served time in federal prison after pleading guilty to lying to federal investigators, did not file nomination papers to run in the special election. His name will appear on the ballot for the full-term seat.
Congressional candidate Christopher Smith suspended his campaign Jan. 14. Smith’s name will appear on the March 3 ballot for the full-term seat, but he encourages citizens not to vote for him.