Civil rights activist Dolores Huerta endorses California Democratic House challenger

Civil rights activist Dolores Huerta endorses California Democratic House challenger
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Civil rights activist Dolores Huerta has endorsed California Assemblywoman Christy Smith as the Democrat challenges GOP incumbent Rep. Mike García in the Los Angeles-area district.

Huerta, the famed labor leader who co-founded United Farm Workers with César Chávez, touted Smith's labor ties and her "strong moral character and decency" in her endorsement Thursday.

“Our future is at stake this coming November. Now, more than ever, we need leaders like Christy Smith fighting for immigrant communities, working families, women and everyday people," Huerta said in a statement.


"I’m proud to endorse Christy in her bid for Congress because she’s a fighter for justice and proven integrity — from negotiating her first employee contract as a union chapter president in her 20s, to founding a local education nonprofit and bringing critical resources back to her community as state assemblywoman. In Congress, Christy will champion access to health care, quality public education, and work to address the systemic inequities this pandemic has laid bare," added Huerta.

Smith is challenging García in a rematch of a special election held earlier this year to fill the seat vacated by former Rep. Katie HillKatherine (Katie) Lauren HillKatie Hill diagnosed with COVID-19 late in pregnancy Katie Hill launches effort to protect Democratic majority in House Katie Hill says 'it would take a lot' to convince her to run again for House MORE (D), who resigned in November amid allegations of an extramarital affair with a staffer.

Because of California's "jungle primary" system, November's election will be just the latest time Smith and García face off in 2020.

In the March primary for the two-year term beginning in January, Smith and García fended off an array of hopefuls from either party, including former Rep. Stephen KnightStephen Thomas KnightCivil rights activist Dolores Huerta endorses California Democratic House challenger The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The American Investment Council - Trump takes his 'ready to reopen' mantra on the road Republican flips House seat in California special election MORE (R-Calif.), who held the seat for two terms before being unseated by Hill in 2018.

Smith and García also advanced in the special election that month to fill the rest of Hill's term through the end of this year. García later defeated Smith in a May runoff and was sworn into office that month.

Like many of California's traditionally Republican districts, the 25th has moved toward Democrats, as evidenced by Hill's 2018 win. The toss-up seat was previously held by former Rep. Buck McKeonHoward (Buck) Philip McKeonCivil rights activist Dolores Huerta endorses California Democratic House challenger Bottom Line Trump pick brings scrutiny to 'revolving door' between Pentagon, industry MORE (R) since 1993.

Smith's labor ties and the endorsement from Huerta, a household name in the Hispanic community, could bolster her rematch chances in a district that's 35 percent Hispanic, facing off against a Hispanic Republican.

“It means so much to have the support of Dolores Huerta -- a fighter against injustice, champion of working families, children and immigrant communities and an imminent icon. I’m proud to fight alongside her as we work to ensure the voices of our communities are heard in the halls of Congress,” said Smith.