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Republican Rep. Mike Garcia Declares Victory Despite Outstanding Ballots


LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Congressman Mike Garcia, R-Saugus, declared victory Friday night in the fiercely contested race for the 25th Congressional District, which includes Santa Clarita, Simi Valley and Palmdale.

"After a long, tough fight, I am proud to earn the privilege of serving CA-25 for another two years," Garcia said in a statement. "With only a few remaining ballots to counted, victory is clear."

The race has gone back and forth ever since election night and is one of only three House races in the country that have not been called.

According to the Associated Press, Garcia held a slim 400 vote lead over Smith with 86.82% of precincts reporting. It was not immediately clear how many ballots had not yet been processed for the race.

As of Friday, Ventura County had 2,516 unprocessed ballots and Los Angeles County had 41,230 unprocessed ballots, though it was not immediately clear how many of those ballots were cast in the district. The 25th Congressional District covers parts of both counties.

Smith in a statement called Garcia's declaration of victory "dangerous to our democratic process."

"With a mere 400 vote margin and thousands of ballots outstanding, election officials are diligently working to process ballots and accurately count all outstanding votes to ensure our communities are heard, and this race remains too close to call," Smith said. "The Congressman's decision is wholly inappropriate, and disrespectful of those who have taken the time to vote this year."

The California Secretary of State has until Dec. 11 to certify the results of the election.

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