California secretary of state eyes running for Katie Hill seat

California secretary of state eyes running for Katie Hill seat
© Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for LA Promise Fund

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla (D) is mulling a bid to run for California’s 25th Congressional District in the wake of Rep. Katie HillKatherine (Katie) Lauren HillRepublicans face worsening outlook in battle for House The Hill's Campaign Report: Cook shifts 20 House races toward Democrats Cook shifts 20 House districts toward Democrats MORE’s (R-Calif.) resignation, two sources with knowledge of his thinking told The Hill on Monday.

A Southern California political veteran, the 46-year-old Padilla has focused on protecting minority voting rights as secretary of state. He assumed his position in 2015 after serving in the state Senate. 

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California State Assemblywoman Christy Smith (D-Calif.) announced her bid for the seat on Monday. 

Hill, 32, a first-term member who was seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party, announced her resignation on Sunday following allegations of inappropriate relationships with a campaign staffer and a legislative aide. Her exit comes shortly after the House Ethics Committee released a statement declaring it would launch an investigation into the freshman congresswoman. 

Hill adamantly denied having improper relations with her male congressional staffer, which would have violated House rules, but apologized last week for what she called an “inappropriate” relationship with her female campaign aide. 

"It is with a broken heart that today I announce my resignation from Congress," she said in a statement, alleging her "abusive husband" leaked lewd photos to a conservative publication as a form of retaliation for filing for divorce. "This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but I believe it is the best thing for my constituents, my community, and our country."