Yesterday, I wrote an update on two of the three House races I discussed on Sunday — Iowa-2 and New York-22. Today, there is definitive news about the third of these races. In California-25, Republican Mike Garcia is the winner. Democrat Christy Smith has conceded.
This seat traditionally has been held by Republicans. Katie Hill won it for the Democrats in the Democratic wave of 2018, but resigned due to a sex scandal. Garcia then won the seat in a special election earlier this year.
The Los Angeles Times describes the district as “sprawling suburbs, desert land and horse ranches north of downtown L.A.” It includes Simi Valley, Santa Clarita, Palmdale and Lancaster. According to the Times, “Democrats have recently gained a voter registration advantage, but deep red pockets throughout the district helped secure Garcia’s seat.”
Garcia’s profile also helped. He was a Navy fighter pilot. His father is an immigrant from Mexico. He has said:
I was a first-generation immigrant. My father and my grandfather came here and started from the ground up and created a great small business in the construction business. We were taught to work hard, we were taught to earn every dollar that we make, take pride in our country, and be a patriot.
Garcia’s win in the special election this summer was the first time in more than 20 years that the GOP flipped a California congressional seat from blue to red. Now the victory has been ratified, albeit by only 333 votes.
John McCormack says that all of the Republicans who flipped Democratic districts in 2020 are veterans, minorities, or women. In many cases, like Garcia, they are two of three.
The GOP is changing, both ideologically and in the profile of its new candidates.