Nanette Barragán, a Democrat, is the district’s current representative and has announced that she is running for re-election. Among Ms. Barragán’s challengers will be Aja Brown, a highly visible Democrat who became Compton’s youngest mayor in 2013.
Ms. Dash came onto the political stage in earnest when she endorsed Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in 2012. She was a Fox News contributor from 2014 to 2016 and an early supporter of President Trump. Her endorsements of Republican candidates drew significant attention, and backlash, in part because she is black.
In an interview with the journalist Nicholas Ballasy in June 2016, after she released a memoir titled “There Goes My Social Life: From Clueless to Conservative,” Ms. Dash said she had been ostracized in Hollywood because of her political views. Her agents had dropped her, she said, and she had not auditioned for a role in more than a year.
Asked in that interview how she would pitch Mr. Trump to African-American and Hispanic voters, she paraphrased the adage that “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
“Why do you keep voting Democrat, and nothing changes?” asked Ms. Dash, who has said she voted for Mr. Obama in 2008 before switching parties. “Try something new.”
In her statement on Friday, she continued that line of attack, arguing that constituents in the 44th District had been forgotten by the Democratic Party.
People “on the lower end of the economic spectrum” had been offered “little more than symbolic gestures,” she said. Politicians, she argued, had come to accept high crime, decaying infrastructure and staggering high school dropout rates as the norm.
“The people living here deserve better,” she said. “I will continue to speak out.”