Mike Garcia Leads By 387 Votes in 25th Congressional District Race

Californians Vote In Special Election On Budget Ballot Measures

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - An updated vote count in the 25th Congressional District is set to be released after 4 p.m. Friday with Republican Rep. Mike Garcia leading Democratic Assemblywoman Christy Smith by 387 votes.

Smith's chances of unseating Garcia in the northern Los Angeles County congressional district continued to wane Tuesday when she was only able to reduce his lead by 13 votes. Garcia had a 400-vote lead going into Tuesday's count.

An unknown number of ballots remain to be counted in the 25th Congressional District.

According to the Secretary of State's Office, Garcia had 169,289 votes, or 50.1%, while Smith had 168,902, or 49.9%.

While maintaining a lead and with the number of outstanding ballots continually dwindling, Garcia claimed victory in the race on Friday night.

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

But Smith 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, D-Santa Clarita, said in a statement.

“The congressman's decision is wholly inappropriate and disrespectful of those who have taken the time to vote this year. Our county officials and Secretary of State Alex Padilla have done a phenomenal job of protecting every voter's right to be heard in the most challenging election of our lifetime. We owe them, and especially our voters, our continued patience as the process is completed.''

The district stretches from the Antelope Valley into Ventura County. Friday was the last day vote-by-mail ballots were accepted.

The race has remained close since election night.

Smith took a 1,287-vote lead on Nov. 9 after trailing by 432 votes at the start of that day's count. Garcia regained the lead Nov. 10, pulling 159 votes ahead and has led at the end of each day's count since then.

Garcia defeated Smith, 54.86%-45.14%, or 95,667-78,721, in a May 12 special election to fill the final 7 1/2 months of the term of former Rep. Katie Hill, D-Agua Dulce, who resigned following the online release of salacious photos and allegations of an extramarital affair with a staff member.

The seat had long been held by Republicans until Hill's 2018 victory over then-Rep. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale.

The winner of the Nov. 3 election will represent the district for the next two years.

Photo: Getty Images

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