California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has set a March 3, 2020, primary followed by a May 12 special election to replace U.S. Rep. Katie Hill (D-Calif.), who resigned on Nov. 1 after being targeted for investigation by the House Ethics Committee.
Hill, who represented the state’s 25th Congressional District that adjoins the Santa Susana Field Laboratory cleanup site in Ventura County, left the House after allegations surfaced that she participated in a sexual relationship with a member of her staff.
The same primary and election dates will be used to fill a vacancy for California’s 28th state Senate District, Newsom announced in a Friday press release.
The 32-year-old Hill was considered a rising star in Democratic Party politics after taking 54% of the vote in the November 2018 midterms to defeat two-term incumbent Rep. Stephen Knight (R-Calif.).
In a June hearing of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, Hill pressed Energy Secretary Rick Perry to expedite remediation of the federal agency’s portion of the 2,850-acre Santa Susana site, which was once used for research into rocket engines and nuclear energy.
Boeing and NASA control most of the Santa Susana site. The Energy Department is responsible for about 470 acres centered around its Energy Technology Engineering Center (ETEC) in Area IV.
Five Republicans and four Democrats currently plan to run in the March primary to replace Hill, according to the Ballotpedia website. Knight, who held the seat previously, will face GOP competition including George Papadopoulos, who two years ago pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI as part of the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller into contacts between Russian officials and the Donald Trump presidential campaign.
Christy Smith, a current member of the California State Assembly, is one of the announced candidates for the Democratic Party nomination.