Progressive talk show host Cenk Uygur has filed to enter the race for disgraced former congresswoman Katie Hill’s congressional district, according to a Federal Election Commission database filing submitted on Wednesday.
Uygur, host and creator of “The Young Turks,” a leftist online news outlet, tweeted “no comment” after news broke of the filing Wednesday night.
To all reporters: No comment.
— Cenk Uygur (@cenkuygur) November 13, 2019
During a show on Wednesday in which he endorsed Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) for president, Uygur hinted at “dramatic news on Thursday” and told viewers to “stay tuned.”
A former MSNBC commentator, Uygur has drifted further left in recent years, but in college he espoused conservative views, supporting pro-life causes and defending Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. A Turkish immigrant, he has also been the subject of controversy for his past denial of the Armenian genocide, for which he apologized in 2016.
Hill left her seat on October 28, resigning after the House Ethics Committee opened an investigation into allegations that Hill engaged in inappropriate sexual relationships with multiple staffers.
“I know that even a consensual relationship with a subordinate is inappropriate, but I still allowed it to happen despite my better judgment,” Hill wrote in a letter of resignation at the time.
On Wednesday night, Hill appeared to distance herself from Uygur by reinforcing her support for state assemblywoman Christy Smith, saying “A local gal is the only one who can keep it blue and the only one the community deserves.”
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 and the only one the community deserves. I called @ChristyforCA25 before I resigned to make sure she would run. Boys, please be gentlemen and step aside. She's got this. https://t.co/0HGzQY58Zr
— Katie Hill (@KatieHill4CA) November 13, 2019
On October 29, former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos — a central figure in the 2016 Russiagate probe — announced his interest in running for Hill’s seat.
In 2017, Papadopoulous pleaded guilty to lying to investigators regarding his contacts with Russia and subsequently spent twelve days in prison.
I care about one endorsement: the American people. The rest is white noise.
— George Papadopoulos (@GeorgePapa19) October 30, 2019