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25th District: Rep. Steve Knight and Katie Hill

Steve Knight
Rep. Steve Knight leaves a meeting of the House Republican Conference at the Capitol Hill Club on July 17, 2018.
Katie Hill
Congressional candidate Katie Hill answers questions from the moderators at the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce and Lancaster West Rotary Congressional Forum at the Hellenic Center in Lancaster, Calif., on Sept. 10, 2018. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Republican Rep. Steve Knight (R-Palmdale) and Democratic challenger Katie Hill. (Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call; Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

California’s 25th Congressional District, once predominantly white and Republican, has become more diverse as newcomers are drawn to more affordable housing at the northern edges of L.A. sprawl: Simi Valley, Porter Ranch, Santa Clarita and the Antelope Valley.

The district’s voters are most concerned with the candidates’ views on immigration, taxes, the economy and gun laws, according to a recent poll by UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies.

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Those issues have become the bedrock of 31-year-old Democrat Katie Hill’s challenge to Rep. Steve Knight (R-Palmdale), who represents the last remaining Republican-held congressional district in Los Angeles County. Knight has joined fellow California Republicans in efforts to push Congress toward bipartisan policies on immigration, but has hewed to Republican Party lines on tax policy. Hill, who led a nonprofit that serves the homeless, has made rebuilding the middle class a major plank of her platform, focusing on income equality and accessible education.

Although it has sent Republicans to Washington since 1993, the district now has more registered Democrats that Republicans and voted for Hillary Clinton by nearly seven percentage points in the 2016 presidential election.


Members of California for Progress, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients and others march in L.A.'s Westlake District in February in support of a "clean" Dream Act that would provide a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients.
Members of California for Progress, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients and others march in L.A.'s Westlake District in February in support of a "clean" Dream Act that would provide a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Immigration

Knight

  • In June voted for a GOP leadership-backed immigration bill known as the Goodlatte bill, after Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), that offered some protection for DACA participants, repealed the diversity visa lottery program, allocated $25 billion for border security and allowed for families seeking entry at the border to be detained together indefinitely
  • Co-sponsored the bipartisan Uniting and Securing America (USA) Act, which would protect DACA recipients from deportation; increase border security measures including enhanced technology, manpower and physical barriers; and increase the number of immigration judges.

Hill

  • Indicated she would be willing to compromise, trading funding for border security for protection for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, according to an NPR report.
  • "We have to provide a clear path to citizenship for our DREAMers and protect measures to keep families together. We can do this while also strengthening our borders against national security threats as well as the trafficking of sex workers, drugs and weapons," she said in a campaign ad.

Social security

Knight

  • “I think that Social Security was a bad idea. I do. I absolutely think it was a bad idea,” Steve Knight said in a 2016 debate.
  • Knight has struggled to get past the above remark, and has more recently called for a bipartisan deal to preserve and protect Social Security, though he's offered few specifics.
  • He has suggested on his campaign website closing loopholes in the disability insurance program and adjusting the pay structure to help people living on a fixed income.

Hill

  • "We have a moral responsibility to take care of our seniors. That includes protecting Medicare and Social Security, ensuring families are able to support aging loved ones with the long-term care they need and providing a safety net for the generations who came before us. We need to invest in research and finding a cure for devastating diseases like Alzheimer's and dementia that affect so many of our seniors, and all of those who care for them," Hill wrote in a document detailing her policy positions.

Taxes

Knight

  • Voted in favor of the 2017 Republican tax plan.
  • “The cause of our national debt is not a lack of tax revenue — instead it was created by a spending addiction in Washington. ... [W]e must pursue comprehensive tax reform by lowering tax rates and in turn eliminating deductions and credits," Knight wrote on his website.

Hill

  • “Last year, the wealthiest 10% of families in the U.S. held 76% of the total wealth in our country, while the bottom half of the population accounted for just 1%. We need to close that gap, and ensure that the wealthy pay at least the same percentage of their income in taxes as the rest of us do," Hill wrote on her website.

Climate change

Turbines are seen on a wind farm in the San Gorgonio Pass area near Palm Springs.
Turbines are seen on a wind farm in the San Gorgonio Pass area near Palm Springs. (David McNew / Getty Images)

Knight

  • Indicated, in a July 2017 statement after joining the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, that climate change is "a growing issue in our international community."
  • The League of Conservation Voters gives him a 9% score for his 2017 votes on environmental issues and a 3% lifetime ranking.

Hill

  • "Climate change is one of the greatest threats to our planet and there is nothing that anyone can say that will change that," she said in a speech.
  • Supports a transition to 100% renewable energy, but hasn't detailed when or how.

Healthcare

Knight

  • Voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
  • Took heat from constituents for that vote, according to Politico, and has appeared to avoid making further public statements on the topic.

Hill

  • Supports universal healthcare.
  • "To get to something like Medicare for all, that’s going to take time. We’ll have to end up taking the cost that people pay, whether that’s their employer or through their own individual side, and that’ll end up having to be a tax," she told the Santa Clarita Gazette.

Illegal weapons confiscated by police are displayed at Chicago police headquarters in May,
Illegal weapons confiscated by police are displayed at Chicago police headquarters in May, (Antonio Perez / TNS)

Gun control

Knight


  • “Undermining the 2nd Amendment by crafting gun control laws aimed to reduce violence rarely results in safer communities. Instead, it is responsible gun owners who pay the price as criminals rarely comply with the laws enacted to keep firearms out of their hands. There is no law Congress can pass to stop gun violence, however we must examine better policing strategies and mental health services in order to provide a more direct path to solving the problem of gun violence,” Knight wrote on his campaign website.

Hill

  • The daughter of a police officer, and a gun owner, she says that respecting the 2nd Amendment and advocating for gun safety measures are not mutually exclusive.
  • Supports a federal ban on assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and bump stocks.
  • Supports increasing waiting periods, raising the minimize age to purchase all weapons and expanding the current background check system.
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