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Politics Katie Hill says 'it would take a lot' to convince her to run again for House

03:50  21 june  2021
03:50  21 june  2021 Source:   thehill.com

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Former Rep. Katie Hill (D-Calif.), who resigned from office in 2019 amid allegations that she had inappropriate sexual relationships with congressional and campaign staffers, left the door open to a future bid for the House while cautioning that "it would take a lot" to convince her to run.

Caroline Weber sitting at a table looking at a laptop: Katie Hill says 'it would take a lot' to convince her to run again for House © Greg Nash Katie Hill says 'it would take a lot' to convince her to run again for House

"Do you think you'll run again?" Axios' Alayna Treene asked Hill during an interview with "Axios on HBO" that aired on Sunday.

"I don't know," Hill responded. "It would take a lot for me to run in 22. There's got to be a very compelling reason for me to want to do it. And we'll just have to see if that's, that comes to be."

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Hill said when she resigned from office in October of 2019 that it was "the hardest thing I have ever had to do." Her announcement came four days after the House Ethics Committee opened an investigation into allegations she engaged in a sexual relationship with a staffer in her office, which is a violation of House rules.

Nude photos of Hill were leaked to a conservative news site, which triggered the ethics complaint.

Hill forcefully denied the allegations at the time, but did admit that she engaged in a relationship with a campaign staffer before she was elected to Congress.

The former congresswoman and her attorneys at the time said Hill was going through a messy divorce that she was the victim of revenge porn by "an abusive husband."

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Hill, when asked by Axios if she regrets resigning, said she now thinks the incident was "politically survivable."

She also said she wishes she had more public support from her colleagues at the time.

"I feel like I had their support behind the scenes. I would have liked more support, public support," she said.

When asked if she thought it was wrong to have a consensual relationship with a subordinate, Hill conceded that she would "absolutely" never do it again, adding, "I let those boundaries blur and that shouldn't have happened." She did, however, stress that the relationship was consensual.

Hill also questioned whether sexism contributed to the pressure on her to resign when men have survived allegations of sexual misconduct. She cited New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), who was accused by a number of female staffers of sexual harassment, and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who faces an investigation into possible sex crimes and obstruction of justice. Both men have denied allegations, though Cuomo has also apologized. Both remain in office.

"Having seen other people who've had scandals since I left, Cuomo and, you know, of course Matt Gaetz. And you see that and of course they don't resign, you really wonder how much of it was the pressure I put on myself because I was a woman and because I've been an advocate for the MeToo movement, and how much of it was sexism and how much of it was, you know, the public shaming aspect of it, the revenge porn aspect of it," Hill said.

Hill told Axios that since being out of office she converted the funds from her reelection campaign, which she said topped more than $1 million, to a PAC that aims to support women candidates doing advocacy on legislative issues that she says "would further equality."

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