What it's like to flip the House as a female candidate in 2018

"I think that the people who have not had a voice are the ones who deserve to have one."

STEVENSON RANCH, Calif. — It's been a week since voters propelled Democrat Katie Hill to victory over Rep. Steve Knight for Los Angeles County’s final Republican House seat. But though the election might be over, things are just starting to ramp up for Hill.

Congresswoman-elect Hill is in DC for new member orientation this week, where her phone has been ringing off the hook. As expected, dozens of media requests have rolled in, as well as invitations to speak at local meetings and events around the district.


"One thing that I think has been funny already is the members who have been helpful to me, like either through, mainly through contributing to the campaign and showing up in something or whatever," Hill told VICE News. "Like already, within hours of me not even, like, officially winning. They're saying, like, 'Whoa I can count on your support for X,' and it's like, whoa.”

Unexpectedly, Katie and the team found their plans to celebrate their victory with a night of line dancing at a local bar colliding with both local tragedy and national news. Their planned night out at Borderline Bar and Grill never ended up happening, because just the night before the team was set to meet, a gunman walked in and killed 12 people.

And the Woolsey fire in Southern California kept Hill from making it to a community vigil for the Borderline shooting Thursday. The fire is still not contained and has burned close to 100,000 acres — some of that within Hill’s district.

Hill says she might get some time off around Thanksgiving, but before then she’ll need to find time to sift through the hundreds of applications to fill staff positions in DC and at home, in her district office. Her current staff members are about to start their unpaid vacation and are waiting to see what offers come their way.

VICE News was there throughout the campaign to see what it was like behind the scenes running for office. The result, the last in a series of four episodes, shows the mad dash to the election night finish line — and what happened as Hill and her team waited for the votes to be counted.

This segment originally aired November 8, 2018 on VICE News Tonight on HBO.