Republican Mike Garcia Defeats Democrat Christy Smith In The Special Election For California’s 25th Congressional District



Republican Mike Garcia defeated Democratic state Assemblywoman Christy Smith in the special election for California’s 25th congressional district. The first batch of results from Ventura and Los Angeles counties show Garcia leading Smith by over 16,000 votes, 56% to 44%. Not all ballots have been counted yet. Garcia will serve out of the rest of Rep. Katie Hill’s term in the 116th Congress, and face a re-match in November for the regular general election to represent the seat in the 117th Congress.

State Assemblywoman Christy Smith conceded the election to Republican Mike Garcia in a Wednesday afternoon statement, writing,” While it’s critical that we ensure every vote is counted and recorded, we believe that the current tally shows Mike Garcia is the likely victor in the May 12 special election.

As such, I’d like to congratulate him.”Why this race was so important for both partiesThis battleground district located in Southern California and includes parts of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, and the cities of Simi Valley, Santa Clarita, and Palmdale. The district is one of several Democratic-trending districts in California to vote for Mitt Romney in 2012 and Hillary Clinton in 2016.In the 2018 midterm elections, former Rep. Katie Hill flipped the district from Republican to Democratic with an eight-point victory over the then-incumbent GOP Rep. Steve Knight.

After only about 10 months in Congress, Hill, 32, resigned from the House after dozens of explicit photos of her were published on websites including the conservative blog Red State and the Daily Mail. Photos and text messages published on the sites, which are believed to have been leaked by Hill’s estranged husband as blackmail, revealed that he and Hill engaged in a polyamorous relationship with one of Hill’s paid campaign staffers.On March 3, Smith, a Democratic state Assemblywoman and former school board member, and Garcia, a former Navy pilot and defense contractor, advanced through a crowded top-two jungle primary for Tuesday’s special general election. 

The highly competitive special election was rated as a toss-up major election handicappers, including the Cook Political Report and Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics, and is expected to be very close. Garcia will serve out of the rest of Hill’s term in the 116th Congress until January 2021, but Smith and Garcia will have a re-match in just six months for the regular general election in November to represent the seat in the 117th Congress.

California, which has an expansive vote by mail statute, allows voters to cast absentee ballots without an excuse. And due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, election officials mailed the nearly 425,000 registered voters in the district an absentee ballot while offering limited in-person voting options. Winning back the seat was a big victory for Democrats in 2018. But despite party heavyweights like 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clin… (Read more)

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