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Mike Garcia takes oath to represent 25th District

Votes remain to be counted

OW Staff Writer | 5/22/2020, midnight

Although vote-counting is still continuing, Republican aerospace executive Mike Garcia was sworn in this week to fill the congressional seat vacated by Democrat Katie Hill.

Garcia defeated Democratic Assemblywoman Christy Smith in last week’s special election to fill out the remaining seven months of Hill’s term. The pair will square off again in November for the right to fill the seat for a full two-year term.

The results of the election have not been certified, although Smith has conceded defeat and Garcia has maintained a roughly 10-point lead.

Garcia’s victory marks the first time a Republican has won a congressional seat in California that had been held by a Democrat since 1998, when then-Assemblyman Steve Kuykendall defeated Janice Hahn to win the South Bay seat vacated by Jane Harman to unsuccessfully run for governor. Harman defeated Kuykendall in 2000.

Garcia is a graduate of Saugus High School and the U.S. Naval Academy. He was a Navy fighter pilot during the Iraq War and became an executive with the aerospace firm Raytheon Co.

Garcia announced his candidacy on April 10, 2019, slightly more than three months after Hill took office. He said his experience in the aerospace industry “along with my military credentials makes me uniquely qualified to tackle the national security issues this nation is facing.’’

The 25th Congressional District includes the Santa Clarita Valley, and portions of the northern San Fernando Valley, Antelope Valley and eastern Ventura County.

Hill announced her resignation Oct. 27 and it became effective Nov. 3, following the release of salacious photos online and allegations of an extramarital affair with a staff member.