Republican Congressman Mike Garcia (R-CA) has declared victory against Democratic opponent Christy Smith, who he previously defeated in a May 2020 special election following the resignation of Congresswoman Katie Hill (D-CA), who previously occupied the seat.
“After a long, tough fight, I am proud to earn the privilege of serving CA-25 for another 2 years,” Garcia tweeted to his supporters late Friday evening. “With only a few remaining ballots to be counted, victory is clear.”
“A tip of the hat to Christy Smith who ran an excellent and aggressive campaign. Running in these elections is difficult, and she did it with grace. I extend this compliment to all 18 opponents I faced in the last 12 months who also were compelled to serve with hopes to represent this beautiful district,” Garcia continued.
“I am honored by the supporters who voted for me and humbled by those who did not. In the end, I will work hard for each and every one of you. And for our nation,” he said.
My statement on election results: pic.twitter.com/qehimJtler
— Mike Garcia (@MikeGarcia2020) November 21, 2020
As of publication, no major media outlets have called a winner in the race. DecisionDeskHQ, an elections tracker that shows the latest tallies for the House race, currently has Garcia leading Smith by exactly 400 votes, a slim .12% margin.
Smith, in an apparent response to Garcia’s victory declaration, simply tweeted: “Patience is a virtue.”
Patience is a virtue.
— Christy Smith (@ChristyforCA25) November 21, 2020
Should Garcia’s declaration of victory ultimately hold true, the first-term congressman will have successfully fought off a Democratic challenger in a toss-up congressional seat, striking another blow to the Democratic Party’s chances of strengthening its slim House majority.
When Garcia was first elected to the seat in May, he was the first California Republican to flip a blue congressional seat in nearly two decades. In the subsequent November general election, two other Republicans have flipped blue California congressional seats — Young Kim, 58, and Michelle Steel, 65.
Earlier this month, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) indicated that GOP pick-ups in the House of Representatives were a positive sign for the future of the Republican Party.
“We have never been stronger in the sense of what the future holds for us — we have never been in a stronger position,” McCarthy told The Washington Post in an interview. “We won this by adding more people to the party. And we won this in an atmosphere where we were the one group that everyone guaranteed we would lose. And we’re the ones who won.”
According to The New York Times, Democrats currently hold 222 seats in the next House — four seats above the 218-seat majority threshold — and the Republican Party currently holds 205, having flipped 11 districts for a net-gain of eight congressional seats. The Times’ tracker notes that a winner has not been declared in eight races, including Garcia’s.
This article has been expanded after publication to include additional information.
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