Rep. Katie Hill resignation: Candidates already lining up for SoCal congressional seat

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A day after Rep. Katie Hill announced her resignation amid allegations of inappropriate relations with aides, several candidates are already lining up to fill her seat.

The freshman Democrat announced her resignation on Sunday after a conservative website published intimate photos of her and allegations that she had inappropriate relationships with a congressional staffer and a campaign aide.

Hill, 32, describes the scandal as politically motivated, blaming her husband, Kenny Heslep, as they go through a bitter divorce.

"It is with a broken heart that today I announce my resignation from Congress. This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but I believe it is the best thing for my constituents, my community, and our country."

Several candidates were quick to announce they were looking at running for her seat. Hill was representing the 25th congressional district, encompassing parts of northern Los Angeles County and eastern Ventura County.

Among potential candidates was Steve Knight, the former Republican incumbent ousted by Hill in 2018.

Not long after Hill's announcement Sunday, Knight posted to 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."

Also eyeing the seat is Assemblywoman Christy Smith.

Other potential candidates include Lancaster City Councilwoman Angela Underwood Jacobs, Navy veteran Mike Garcia of Valencia and David Rudnick, a business owner and real estate investor from Lancaster.

It's not immediately clear when Hill's resignation would take effect. Once it does, Gov. Gavin Newsom can then choose a date for a special election to fill the seat, possibly to coincide with the state's March 3, 2020 election.

The House ethics committee has launched an investigation into whether Hill had an inappropriate relationship with an aide in her congressional office, which is prohibited under House rules. It's not known whether that investigation will continue once Hill steps down.
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