Katie Hill makes history as the 25th District’s first Democratic, female, bisexual representativeMai Nguyen Do November 7, 2018 1 COMMENT
Rep. Steve Knight (R-Palmdale) conceded at 12:40 p.m. on Nov. 7, making Katie Hill the first female, bisexual and Democratic candidate to be elected to represent the 25th Congressional District.
As of 7:17 a.m., Hill secured victory with 51.3 percent of the vote. Her election as the first Democratic, bisexual female representative in the 25th District is particularly historic given that in 2016, Knight voted against non-discrimination measures for LGBTQ youth.
For most of the evening of Nov. 6 and much of the early morning on Nov. 7, the results were too close to call. Attendees at Katie Hill’s election night party stayed at the venue until 1:30 a.m. when Hill had to ask them to go home.
“There’s nothing that can be lost from what happened here,” Hill said. Less than 50 percent of precincts were reporting when she asked attendees to get some rest. “Everything that we’ve done has been a victory for the people we’ve been fighting for.”
Like many Democratic challengers across the nation, Hill’s campaign has not only focused on protecting tenets of the Affordable Care Act from Republican efforts at repealing them, but also advocated for the specific policy proposal gaining steam across the nation: Medicare for All. As national media and local residents listened to Hill’s closing remarks for the night, Hill said explicitly that “health care is a right.”
Hill’s prioritization of health care has health care activists and advocacy groups excited for her to get to D.C.
“We need people who know that the end result must be a Medicare for All, single payer system, but we also know that if the policy isn’t done right, lives could be at stake,” progressive health care activist Ryan Skolnick said. “Katie knows this, and I think her election in our district means nothing but good things for our efforts to make healthcare an undisputed right for everyone.”
SoCal Healthcare Coalition, an advocacy group that has called out Knight for voting repeatedly to repeal the Affordable Care Act and for vacationing on the dime of the pharmaceutical industry,
“Steve Knight was not a politician willing to protect affordable and accessible health care,” spokeswoman for SoCal Healthcare Coalition Alice Walton said. “We are pleased to see voters were able to make educated decisions on the best person to represent their interests – not special interests – in Washington.”
Mac Zilber of political consulting firm Jacobson & Zilber Strategies also weighed in on California’s congressional races, including the 25th Congressional District race, this morning. “One reason why we saw this ‘blue wave’ was that voters do not like it when one party has uniform control over government, and doubly so when that party is threatening to use that control to pursue unpopular policies,” Zilber said. “[The Republicans’] worst moment was when they sought to repeal the Affordable Care Act.”
Hill’s campaign manager, Zack Czajkowski, first heard of Hill’s candidacy through an Elle article. He joined her team in May 2018 and has since helped carry her campaign to victory.
“Katie is one of those people that can will things into being,” Czajkowksi said. “She was 29 years old when she declared. The radical strategy she wanted: she would tell the truth and say what she meant – and it worked.”
With just a few months until Jan. 3, when she will be sworn in, Hill is excited to prepare for her time in D.C.
“It’s going to be an incredible freshman class, I think,” Hill said of her future colleagues in the House. “Historic numbers of women, young women, so I’m going to go there and make relationships, hopefully make some friends, figure out what the plan is. We’ve got a lot of decisions to make.”
Daniel Jacob Kulick contributed to this article.
Mai Nguyen Do is a Vietnamese American poet and researcher. She is a lifelong Santa Clarita resident and a College of the Canyons graduate. She is also the author of Ghosts Still Walking (2016) and Battlefield Blooming (2019). Find her on Twitter @DoNguyenMai.