Republicans have won a special election for Congress in Southern California, reclaiming a suburban House seat that they lost to Democrats in the 2018 midterms.
Democrat Christy Smith, a state assemblywoman, conceded defeat to Republican Mike Garcia Wednesday, one day after the closely watched special election runoff for the seat vacated by former Rep. Katie Hill, who resigned last year.
“We believe that the current tally shows Mike Garcia is the likely victor in the May 12 special election,” Smith said in a statement. “As such, I’d like to congratulate him.”
Garcia, a former Naval aviator, currently leads Smith, 56 percent to 44 percent, with an unknown number of ballots left to be counted. The Associated Press called the race later Wednesday, about three hours after Smith’s concession.
His victory represents the first time in 22 years that California Republicans have captured a congressional seat from Democrats.
“Despite being outgunned and outspent by National Democrats every step of the way, Garcia hit the afterburners and became the first Republican to flip a California seat red in more than 20 years,” @CLFSuperPAC Pres. Dan Constan said in a statement. CLF spent $700K on this race.
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