Cenk Uygur, progressive media personality and founder of the web series "The Young Turks," announced he is running for the California House seat formerly held by disgraced Democratic Rep. Katie Hill Thursday.
The announcement raises the prospects of an intra-party clash for Democrats, a Politico article notes.
Since Hill's resignation, state Assemblywoman Christy Smith (D) has become the Democrats' preferred replacement, garnering endorsements from several elected officials, as well as a nod from Hill herself.
"A local gal flipped a decades-long Rep seat to win by 9 pts. A local gal is the only one who can keep it blue," Hill tweeted in support of Smith. "Boys, please be gentlemen and step aside. She's got this."
Uygur is running as an anti-establishment candidate on the Democratic side, vowing to stand "against corruption and big money in politics."
I’m running for Congress to represent CA-25. If we fight together for this seat, it will be the People’s seat. Figh… https://t.co/2Vi07QjxV8— Cenk Uygur (@Cenk Uygur)1573781770.0
Who is running on the GOP side?
But Uygur is not the only unusual name running for the longtime Republican seat recently flipped by Democrats in 2018.
George Papadopoulos, the former foreign policy adviser to President Donald Trump who recently spent 14 days in prison for lying to the FBI during the Russia investigation, is also running for the vacant seat.
I'm smelling blood in the water now that Katie Hill has resigned," Papadopoulos tweeted Oct. 27. "Someone has to step up. I love my state too much to see it run down by candidates like Hill. All talk, no action, and a bunch of sell outs."
Reportedly, former Rep. Steve Knight (R), who lost the seat to Hill in 2018, is also running to reclaim the seat.
Why is the seat open?
Hill, 32, resigned her seat last month amid a House ethics probe into allegations of inappropriate relations with staff members after a nude photo of her was posted online.
She admitted to having an improper relationship with a young female member of her campaign staff but has denied any relationship with a congressional staff member.
In a video announcing her resignation, Hill accused conservative media of carrying out a coordinated campaign to oust her, and blamed them and her husband of spreading "revenge porn."
A special election will be held to fill the vacant seat.