Rep. Mike Garcia ran against Democrat Christy Smith in California's 27th Congressional District.
The 27th District is located to the north of Los Angeles and includes the city of Santa Clarita, known for the Six Flags Magic Mountain theme park.
Redistricting excluded predominantly conservative Simi Valley, making the district more Democratic-leaning.
Republican Rep. Mike Garcia defeated Democrat Christy Smith for the third time in California's 27th Congressional District.
Polls closed in the state at 8 p.m. local time, or 11 p.m. EST.
California's 27th Congressional District candidates
Garcia is a member of the House Committee on Appropriations. Prior to his time in Congress, he served in the US Navy for 14 years, flying over 30 combat missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom after graduating from the United States Naval Academy. In 2009, he went on to work for defense contractor Raytheon Technologies.
The former Navy pilot was first elected to office in a May 2020 special election after former Rep. Katie Hill resigned after reports of an inappropriate relationship with a congressional staffer.
The top-two finishers, Garcia and Smith, went on to a runoff, in which Garcia emerged victorious.
After Garcia finished the remainder of Hill's term, he went on to win a full term in the general election, once again narrowly defeating Smith, this time by a little over 300 votes. In 2020, Garcia was endorsed by former President Donald Trump.
Garcia's win marked the first time since 1998 that a Republican flipped a Democrat-held House seat in California.
Smith, Garcia's challenger, was a Department of Education policy analyst during the Clinton administration and a former California state assemblywoman. When Hill resigned, Smith received a number of prominent endorsements including those of Vice President Kamala Harris, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
This was the third time Smith has run for the seat.
Voting history for California's 27th Congressional District
California's 27th Congressional District encompasses sections of northern Los Angeles County and the San Fernando and Antelope Valleys, including the city of Santa Clarita, known for Six Flags Magic Mountain theme park.
President Joe Biden had a 10 percentage point margin of victory over Trump under the district's previous boundaries in 2020 before it was redrawn to exclude predominantly conservative Simi Valley in redistricting following the 2020 Census, making it slightly more Democratic.
The money race
According to OpenSecrets, Garcia raised $6.6 million, spent $5.7 million, and had $1.2 million of cash on hand, as of October 19. His opponent, Smith, raised $3.5 million, spent $3 million, and had $624,978 of cash still left to spend, as of October 19.
As of early November, super PACs, national party committees, and other non-candidate groups had combined to spend about $7.5 million to advocate for or against the candidates. Of this spending, most came from two Republican sources: the National Republican Congressional Committee and the pro-Garcia super PAC Congressional Leadership Fund.
What experts say
The race between Garcia and Smith was rated as "tilt Republican" by Inside Elections, a "toss-up" by The Cook Political Report, and "leans Republican" by Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.
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