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Republican Mike Garcia Wins In The 25th Congressional District; Voter Turnout Up In L.A. County Overall

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In one of the last U.S. House of Representative seats still unsettled after the Nov. 3 election, Republican Mike Garcia has fought off a challenge from Democrat Christy Smith for the 25th Congressional District, which has parts of both L.A. and Ventura counties, including Simi Valley, Santa Clarita, and the Antelope Valley.

Smith conceded the race early Monday evening after both counties reported final vote counts. The tally left Smith trailing Garcia by only 333 votes. Smith beat Garcia in L.A. County by more than 5,000 votes, but the more conservative portion of the district in Ventura County sealed the victory for Garcia.

Democrat Katie Hill won the seat in 2018 when she beat Republican incumbent Steve Knight. But she resigned following reports of an inappropriate relationship she had with a campaign staff member, and nude photos of Hill were published online without her consent.

Garcia beat Smith in a special election this Spring to finish Hill's term, setting up the general election rematch that is now settled.

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With Garcia's victory, Republican candidates have recovered four of the seven California House seats Democrats flipped in the 2018 “blue wave” election: in Orange County, where Michelle Steel and Young Kim defeated incumbents Harley Rouda and Gil Cisneros, and the Central Valley, where David Valadao reclaimed his seat in Congress by defeating T.J. Cox.

L.A. COUNTY CERTIFIES VOTE

Election officials in Los Angeles County certified the vote count from the Nov. 3 election, finalizing the tally a few days ahead of the state-mandated 30-day deadline.

According to L.A. County Registrar-Recorder Dean Logan, 4,338,191 L.A. County votes were processed and counted. That brought turnout to 75.98% of registered voters.

The large turnout was due in part to ballots being mailed to every registered voter in the state. Despite the pandemic and significant worries about U.S. Postal Service delays, voter participation was the highest since the 2008 election of President Barack Obama.

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To compare, here’s recent L.A. County presidential election year turnout, according to date from the Secretary of State’s office:

  • 2016: 67.46%
  • 2012: 68.02%
  • 2008: 78.36%
  • 2004: 77.67%
  • 2000: 67.97%

The L.A. County Board of Supervisors will meet Dec. 8 to declare the election officially over.