Papadopoulos, the first person sent to prison as part of the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, announced his candidacy for California’s 25th Congressional District during an appearance on “Fox & Friends.”
“When I go and talk around the districts, the state, the country, they tell me we need a candidate to represent the community that has an ‘America First’ agenda at heart that supports the president,” Papadopoulos, 32, said.
The Republican continued: “I’m running for the 25th Congressional District. I’m here to promote the ‘America First’ agenda and to enact legislation that has real-life consequences for the American people and my constituents.”
Papadopoulos served two weeks in prison in November 2018 after pleading guilty to lying to the FBI during the Russia probe. Earlier that year, the Illinois native moved to California with his wife, Simona Mangiante Papadopoulos, an Italian attorney who briefly worked for the European Parliament.
He filed paperwork to run for Hill’s seat two days after she resigned from Congress last month, following reports that she had a sexual relationship with one of her congressional staffers. She has denied the allegation.
“We are in a fight for the future of this country,” Papadopoulos tweeted Monday. “There is no room for middle ground. We need fighters, principled men/women with true conviction in the party’s platform who put America first.”
Hill flipped the district in 2018, beating incumbent Republican Steve Knight by nearly 9 percentage points. Knight is hoping to reclaim his seat in 2020.
At least two other Republicans and several Democrats, including Cenk Uygur, founder of the online news network The Young Turks, are also running.
This story has been updated with more information about Hill’s congressional seat and Papadopoulos’ role in the Russia probe.