As expected, former Rep. Steve Knight announced he’s attempting to retake the congressional seat he lost to Katie Hill. Unexpectedly, one of his would-be opponents dropped out.
Knight, who many believe ran a lackluster campaign in losing to Hill by nine points, released a statement that began, “I have always answered the call to serve and today is no exception.”
Reached Monday, Knight vaguely explained who called on him to serve: “A lot of friends, a lot of elected people in D.C., a lot of people in all three valleys. This wasn’t just me deciding.”
Knight announced on Saturday. That same day, Mark Cripe announced he was ending his campaign, citing on Facebook “deep concerns over splitting the Republican vote in a crowded field” and low fundraising totals. Cripe had previously told the Gazette he was staying in the race.
Another Republican candidate, Mike Garcia, said he was “disappointed” that Knight decided to enter the race. “We have no reason to change our course of action and I am set on winning the primary regardless of who joins the race,” Garcia wrote on Facebook. “Knight’s decision to run represents a missed opportunity for a senior statesman and a party to fully unite behind a winner and send a clear message that CA-25 does still belong to the people.”
Two other candidates, Democrat Christy Smith and Republican Angela Underwood-Jacobs, did not return phone calls seeking comment.