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Republican Mike Garcia Still Has A Slim Lead In The 25th District Congressional Race

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A Mike Garcia sign in Palmdale. (Libby Denkmann/LAist)
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These results will be continually updated as votes are counted. Last updated on Friday Nov. 20 at 4:30 PM.

The 25th Congressional District remained one of a handful of House races nationwide that are too close to call after Los Angeles County released its latest ballot count update today.

Republican Congressman Mike Garcia’s lead over State Assemblymember Christy Smith dipped slightly with the new tally -- his margin is now exactly 400 votes. They’re vying to represent a district that includes Simi Valley, Santa Clarita, Palmdale and Lancaster.

The L.A. County Registrar-Recorder estimated there are 41,230 ballots remaining to be counted in the entire county -- mostly mail-in ballots that were postmarked by election day but arrived after polls closed.

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Turnout is approaching 76%, but that will not be final until all ballots are counted and election officials certify the vote. Counties have 31 days to do so after an election is held, and the Secretary of State has until Dec. 11 to sign off on the whole thing.

Garcia is trying to keep the seat he flipped in a special election back in May, when he won the right to complete former Rep. Katie Hill’s term. Hill resigned last year after nude photos were posted online without her consent and the House Ethics Committee started an investigation into allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a congressional staffer, which she denied.

[Read more about the issues animating this congressional race, and the recent history of the 25th District.]

The mostly suburban and rural district was one of the last remaining Republican-held seats touching Los Angeles County when Hill defeated Steve Knight in the 2018 blue wave election. Big picture, Smith and Democrats want to show the district is one of the suburbs the GOP has lost under President Trump. Republicans are hoping to see enough split-ticket voters who will support their down-ticket congressman even if the majority eschewed Trump.

There is no automatic trigger for a recount in California congressional races. Any registered voter may request election officials tally the votes over again, but they also must cover the steep costs involved with tracking down ballots under the county’s new decentralized Voter’s Choice Act system.

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