The incumbent defeated by Rep. Katie Hill (D-Calif.) in the 2018 midterms said he might run for the seat vacated by Hill this week.
Hill announced her resignation on Oct. 27 after the House Ethics Committee opened an investigation based on accusations she had an affair with a congressional staffer in addition to the admitted affair she had with a campaign aide she later paid consulting fees to.
Steve Knight, who held the seat for two terms before losing to Hill, said he’d make an official announcement soon.
“It’s a very interesting situation, and we need representation here,” Knight, a Republican, told The Signal. “It looks like there’s going to be that special election, and we need to have a representative there so we can have our voice in Congress.”
Asked if he was mulling a run, Knight said: “Yes, I’m absolutely considering that. Let’s say I’m more than considering that.”
“We’re trying to get our ducks in a row and see what our support level is,” he said.
Knight said in a statement to supporters on Facebook: “After serving my community and country for nearly three decades, I will always answer the call when needed. At this point, we are entering uncharted waters. I am looking to run and am thankful for all the calls encouraging me to return to Congress.”
Hill has not yet announced when she’ll resign. When she does, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has 14 days to set the date for a special election, which must take place between 126 days and 140 days from when he announces the date. However, if the special general election can be placed on the same day as an already-scheduled election, the end of the window can be extended from 140 days to 180 days, according to California Target Book research director Rob Pyers.
He said Newsom could end up scheduling the special election for March 3, alongside the statewide presidential primary election.
Lancaster City Council member Angela Underwood Jacobs and former Navy fighter pilot Mike Garcia, both Republicans, had already announced campaigns for the seat.
Possible scenario, Gov Newsom waits until Thursday, Nov 7th to issue a proclamation. The special election runoff would take place 180 days later on May 5th, with the special election primary taking place 9 Tuesdays earlier on March 3rd alongside the statewide Presidential Primary
— Rob Pyers (@rpyers) October 27, 2019
“Katie Hill did the right thing by resigning from Congress. The past week has been a complete distraction from the important work that needs to be done, and it’s time for our district to move forward and unite around a leader. Now more than ever, we must elect someone who will represent the needs of our community with integrity and a true desire to put service to country above all else; a citizen legislator with a track record of success and accomplishing the mission. I look forward to continue spreading our message of defending freedom just as I did during my nearly twenty years as a Navy fighter pilot and officer. Now is the time to unite as a district around one leader,” Garcia said in a statement after Hill announced her resignation.
George Papadopoulos, the former Trump campaign aide who was convicted of lying to the FBI, has also suggested he’s considering running for the seat.
On the Democratic side, California state Assemblywoman Christy Smith said on Oct. 28 she’d run for the seat.
“I would like to commend Congresswoman @KatieHill4CA for her service on behalf of #CA25 as well as her willingness to put country first by stepping down from office,” she wrote on Twitter.
“After much encouragement from community members, today I am proud to announce that I am running for Congress.”