Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Garcia narrowly defeated Democratic rival Christy Smith in a swing district north of Los Angeles, capping an election in which Republicans picked off three other House districts in the heavily Democratic state.
The race was called Tuesday by The Associated Press after Los Angeles and Ventura counties certified the Nov. 3 vote.
Garcia, a former Navy fighter pilot and defense industry executive, held on to his seat by a 333-vote margin, making it the closest House race in the state this year.
Smith, a state legislator, conceded Monday night, saying “it’s clear we will not be able to close” the gap.
The congressman had claimed victory more than a week ago, and said in a statement he would push for federal relief for people and small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Garcia won the vacant seat in a May special election, following the 2019 resignation of Democratic Rep. Katie Hill, who resigned amid a House ethics probe.
Republicans lost seven House seats in the state in 2018, but rebounded with Garcia’s defense of his closely fought district while picking up three other Democratic held-districts.
Republican Young Kim defeated Democratic Rep. Gil Cisneros in a district anchored in the one-time GOP stronghold of Orange County, and Republican Michelle Steel claimed the 48th District in Orange County from Democratic Rep. Harley Rouda.
In the Central Valley, Republican former Rep. David Valadao retook his old job from Democratic Rep. TJ Cox, who unseated him two years ago.