Katie Hill is a 31-year-old newcomer to the political world who is running for election in California’s 25th District in one of the hottest House races of the year.
Hill is running in a solidly red district against GOP incumbent Steve Knight. But over the last three months, Hill has out-fundraised Knight exponentially, raking in $3.8 million compared to Knight’s $456,000.
Hill is openly bisexual, in hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, and has no prior political experience. Here’s why she might just turn a red state blue, anyways:
1. Hill Is One of a Small Handful of Openly Bisexual Politicians Running for Office
Katie Hill, who is openly bisexual, is running against one of the most anti-LGBTQ members of Congress, according to The Advocate.
Of her decision to be public about her sexuality, Hill said to The Advocate, “[Being out] was a huge decision early on…I’ve been out as being bi since I was a teenager, right after high school.” She further added that her openness about being bisexual was part of a decision to be an “honest, transparent politician.”
Hill is one of a select few politicians who are openly bisexual and running for office this year. Another notable woman is Kyrsten Sinema, who is running for the U.S. Senate seat in Arizona. If Sinema wins the election, she will be the first openly bisexual U.S. senator in history.
2. She’s Been Described as ‘America’s Most Millennial Candidate’, Running in a Solidly Red District
Hill has earned the nickname of being the “most Millennial” politician running the “most Millennial” campaign in the midterms. This is for a variety of reasons, including her young age, her grassroots policy of raising money without taking any corporate donations, and a massive network of volunteers and big donors from the Hollywood and Bel Air areas of Los Angeles.
In addition to her identity as a Millennial, Hill’s campaign strategy included a very Millennial move: agreeing to be spotlighted in a Vice documentary about her run for office. Knight has taken advantage of Hill’s Millennial status in attack ads, but Hill has shrugged it off.
To The Guardian, she said, “They make comments about my appearance and call me immature. I have to deal with this every day. In our last debate, Steve Knight was asked what his biggest accomplishment was. Then they turned to me and said: ‘You have no experience, why should people vote for you?’ That’s something you hear a lot as a woman that you wouldn’t hear as a man.”
3. She’s Running Against Republican Steve Knight, Who’s Been Accused of Being a Homophobe
Hill’s progressivism as an openly bisexual candidate who actively wishes to push efforts of equality for all citizens comes as a stark contrast to Steve Knight, who has a history of anti-LGBTQ measures, and comes from a family who did the same.
Knight’s father, Pete Knight, was a California state senator who wrote a now-infamous ban on same-sex marriage in 2000, one that was eventually struck down by the California Supreme Court.
As for Knight, himself, he has his own record of anti-LGBTQ legislation. In 2016, he pushed an anti-LGBT provision that would lead to “sweeping anti-LGBT discrimination in all federal agencies, not just the Department of Defense,” in the state of California, per Human Rights Campaign.
4. She Has a Personal Relationship to the Health Care Crisis, From an Injury Her Husband Sustained That Left Them in Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars of Debt
Hill’s husband, Kenny had to deal with an unexpected lung collapse several years ago. On Hill’s site, she explains how she and her husband had to deal with the trauma right before their wedding, and that she started their lives together with $200,000 of medical debt.
Hill wrote, “For everyone without insurance in our district, seeking life-saving medical attention can ruin credit and financial freedom, forever. While Kenny and I started our lives together with $200,000 in medical debt, we were able to move in with his parents while we got on our feet, but so many members of our community don’t have that support.”
Now, working on California Medicaid expansion is one of Hill’s largest talking points. She wrote, “Where we’re from, we take care of our own. Whether that’s providing rehabilitation to those experiencing a substance abuse disorder, or a little extra support for families serving as caretakers for our aging seniors, as a community, we deserve a system we can all afford.”
5. This Is Her First Time Running for Elected Office
This is Hill’s first time running for an elected public office. Prior to announcing her bid for Congress, Hill was a nonprofit worker at People Assisting the Homeless (PATH), serving as the executive director and scaling it from a local nonprofit to California’s largest non-prgofit provider of homes for the homeless, per her site.
Hill currently lives on a farm with her husband in Agua Dulce, CA, with her husband, along with their dogs, horses, and goats.