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Pelosi endorses Christy Smith in bid to replace Katie Hill

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has formally endorsed California state Rep. Christy Smith’s bid to fill the seat vacated by former Rep. Katie Hill (D-Calif.).

Smith has emerged as a leading candidate to replace Hill, who resigned in October following a House Ethics Committee investigation into allegations of inappropriate sexual relationships with staffers.

“California State Assemblywoman Christy Smith is a proven leader. We need her in Congress so that she can help advance our for the people agenda in Washington. I am proud to endorse Christy Smith because she will work to fight corruption, lower the cost of prescription drugs, fully fund public schools and build a strong middle-class economy that works for all Americans,” Pelosi said in a statement shared by Smith’s campaign.

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Smith launched her campaign for Hill’s vacated seat just one day after the lawmaker announced her resignation.

Hill flipped the seat from Republican Rep. Steve Knight in 2018, and the March 3 special election to replace her has already drawn several GOP challengers, including Knight.

Smith has already received endorsements from several prominent Democrats, including both California senators, Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris.

In the special election, a candidate who receives more than 50 percent of the vote will serve out the rest of Hill’s term, which runs through January 2021. If no candidate clears the 50 percent threshold, the top two will face off in a May runoff.

The Young Turks founder Cenk Uygur also filed last month to run for the seat. The left-leaning commentator aligns himself with the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, and in 2016 endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the Democratic presidential primary.

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