UPDATED 6:50 AM PT — Thursday, May 14, 2020
Republican Mike Garcia has claimed victory in California, flipping the state’s 25th District seat from blue to red. On Wednesday, his Democrat opponent Christy Smith conceded the special election race and congratulated her rival. She is now setting her sights on the general election in the fall.
The swing district’s seat used to belong to former congresswoman Katie Hill before she resigned from Congress in October over a sex scandal.
Earlier this week, President Trump endorsed Garcia by highlighting the Republicans previous military service, his stance on crime as well as border security and gun rights.
Vote @MikeGarcia2020 by May 12th! His opponent @ChristyforCA25 voted to fire teachers, and cut their salaries while bumping up her pay. Now she’s mocking our Great Vets! We need Navy Fighter Pilot Mike Garcia in #CA25! https://t.co/MEnGMvl8it
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 11, 2020
During a meeting at the White House before Smith conceded, President Trump celebrated Garcia’s successful campaign while raising concerns about the legitimacy of mail-in ballots.
Pres. Trump, celebrating Republican Mike Garcia’s win in a California election that had mail-in voting, says mail-in voting leads to cheating and hurts Republicans.
Colorado started mail-in voting in 2013 w/a Republican Secretary of State, who never found evidence of corruption. pic.twitter.com/iOej1vZZwm
— Erin Powell (@erinepowell) May 13, 2020
Garcia will now serve the remainder of Hill’s term, which ends in January. He will face off against Smith again in November to determine who will serve the full term starting in 2021.