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Democrat Christy Smith Takes Slim Lead Over Republican Mike Garcia In 25th Congressional District Race

SANTA CLARITA (CBSLA) — Christy Smith has taken a very slim lead over Mike Garcia in the 25th Congressional District, making it possible that she could avenge an earlier loss to the Republican Garcia and reclaim the seat for the Democratic Party.

As of Wednesday evening, with 77.17% of precincts reporting, Smith was leading by a margin of 50.32% to 49.68%, separated by a margin of fewer than 1,800 votes. The 25th Congressional District includes Simi Valley, Santa Clarita and Palmdale.

It is technically the fourth time in nine months the duo have faced off at the ballot box.

In March, Smith and Garcia finished one-two in a special election to fill the term of Rep. Katie Hill, who resigned following the online release of personal photos and allegations of an extramarital affair with a staff member.

The two faced off again in May in a runoff for the March special election to complete Hill's original term, with Garcia emerging victorious.

Smith has been endorsed by many of the area's biggest Democratic names and by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Garcia, a former Navy pilot, said he was inspired to run for the seat because Hill "did not represent our moderate district."

He said he was proud to help California Republicans take a United States House seat back from the Democrats, the first time the GOP was able do so in a special election in 22 years.

It was a rare win for the state's 25th Congressional District which encompasses northern Los Angeles and eastern Ventura counties.

"Someone who's a patriot running for the right reasons, frankly it's something we need more of in this beautiful country," Garcia said.

That message is one the former Navy combat pilot and businessman leaned heavily on during his campaign, even though fellow businessman President Donald Trump endorsed him all along and tweeted that he was proud of the win.

Whoever wins Tuesday's election will represent the district — which represents most of northern Los Angeles County and part of eastern Ventura County, including the cities of Palmdale and Santa Clarita, most of Lancaster and Simi Valley, and the northern part of San Fernando Valley — for the next two years.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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