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Garcia recaptures lead in congressional race


Republican Rep. Mike Garcia led Democratic challenger Assemblywoman Christy Smith by 422 votes by mid week in the race for a northern Los Angeles County congressional seat.

In one of the closest  races in recent memory, Garcia added 318 votes to his lead in Tuesday’s count. He has 168,017 votes, or 50.1percent, while Smith has 167,595, or 49.9 percent, according to figures released by the Secretary of State’s Office.

It was unclear how many ballots from the Nov. 3 election remain to be counted in the district.

Garcia had led by 104 votes entering Tuesday’s count.

The race has remained close since election night. As ballots were tallied over the course of last week, the lead changed hands twice. Smith (D-Santa Clarita)  at one point had a 1,287-vote lead, but Garcia (R-Santa Clarita) erased that advantage and took a narrow lead.

The 25th Congressional District stretches from the Antelope Valley into Ventura County. Vote by mail ballots will continue to be accepted through Nov. 20, if they were postmarked by Election Day.

Garcia defeated Smith, 54.86 percent to 45.14 percent, or 95,667 to 78,721, in a May 12 special election to fill the final seven months of the term of former Rep. Katie Hill who resigned following the online release of salacious photos and allegations of an extramarital affair with a staff member.

The seat had long been held by Republicans until Hill’s 2018 victory over then-Rep. Steve Knight.