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Rep. Mike Garcia holds razor-thin lead in hotly contested 25th congressional race

GOP Rep. Mike Garcia is ahead of Democratic challenger Christy Smith by 104 votes.
(Garcia for Congress)

Republican incumbent Mike Garcia’s razor-thin lead over Democratic Assemblywoman Christy Smith in the race for the 25th Congressional District has narrowed yet again, according to the latest data from the Los Angeles and Ventura county registrars’ offices.

The hotly contested race has seesawed between the two candidates, with Garcia holding an early lead of 432 votes, then Smith taking a 1,287-vote lead on Nov. 9 and Garcia regaining a slim lead of 159 votes on Nov. 10.

Garcia’s lead has since narrowed. The two are now separated by 104 votes; Garcia currently holds 166,617 votes to Smith’s 166,513 votes, based on the county registrars’ latest tallies.

What passed, what failed, who won, who lost and what does it mean for California?

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The 25th District, which overlaps both Los Angeles and Ventura counties, includes Simi Valley, Santa Clarita, Palmdale and Lancaster.

The district has flipped twice in the last two years, starting in 2018 when Democratic newcomer Katie Hill unseated Republican incumbent Steve Knight. However, Hill resigned about halfway into her term after allegations arose of an inappropriate relationship between her and a campaign staffer. Garcia then flipped the district red after winning the May special election to fill the remainder of Hill’s term, with 56% of the votes against Smith’s 44%.

Chapman University research analyst Michael Moodian previously told The Times that Garcia’s win in the special election might not be indicative of the district’s political alignment.

“Special elections draw in more registered Republicans,” Moodian said. “It also comes off the heels of the Katie Hill controversy, so that all bodes well for Mike Garcia.”

Two months before the special election, Smith was leading over Garcia.

Vote-by-mail ballots will continue to be accepted through Nov. 20 if they were postmarked by election day. According to the California secretary of state, final results will be certified by Dec. 11. Updated figures are expected to be released Tuesday afternoon.


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