Katie Hill is Trying to Move Forward

Katie Hill is Trying to Move Forward

Katie Hill is Trying to Move Forward

Katie Hill is Trying to Move Forward

“She is extremely driven,” said her friend Nicole Brener-Schmitz, a political strategist who is working with Ms. Hill on her PAC.

From the time she was 12, Ms. Hill said, she worked multiple jobs: at a horse ranch, babysitting, as a dog groomer, saving up to buy a horse. She grew up in Rosamond, Calif., on the border of Los Angeles County, and then Santa Clarita, near Six Flags, shuttling between her divorced parents.

She graduated from high school a year early, and met Mr. Heslep shortly after, when she was 16 and he was 21. By 23, she had graduated from college, was married and working full-time at a nonprofit, People Assisting the Homeless. By 27, she had earned a master’s degree and been promoted to executive director of the nonprofit.

“And then I went straight to running for Congress,” she said.

Looking back, Ms. Hill said, there were warning signs of what was to come of her marriage: She writes in her book that her husband was “unpredictable” and “incredibly controlling.” Her sister described trying to intervene seven years ago, and it exploding into a fight. “We didn’t talk for a while,” her sister said.

As she campaigned, “I pretended everything at home was fine and I looked like a successful candidate about to win an election and make history,” Ms. Hill writes. “But my life was held together by a thread.”

These last two months, at home in Washington, have been the longest period of uninterrupted time Ms. Hill can remember without a deadline, a campaign, a school assignment or a job. “This is the most sleep I’ve gotten maybe in my whole life,” she said.


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