Assemblywoman Christy Smith, D-Santa Clarita, kept a slight lead in the fundraising race against Navy veteran Mike Garcia for the first quarter of 2020, according to federal filings available in the November election for the 25th Congressional District race.
Both candidates reported raising more than $1 million in the first three months of 2020, but between the filing period of Feb. 13 and March 31, Democrat Smith led by about $21,000, according to the Federal Election Commission.
Smith raised $726,522 and reported a cash-on-hand total of $357,256, with a debt of $12,000 and zero loans during the February through March period.
“In these uncertain times, Americans want leaders like Christy representing them in Congress and we see that reflected in the fact that she is once again the top fundraiser in this race,” spokeswoman Lexie Kelly said in a prepared statement.
Republican Garcia raised $705,430 and reached a cash-on-hand tally of $446,742, with a previous, single loan made by the candidate of $125,000. His debt total was $152,395.
“Mike is pro-business and pro-taxpayer and understands what is needed for our country and the district during this critical era in American history,” spokesman Lance Trover said in a prepared statement.
Amid a pool of candidates that grew to 12, with hopefuls from in and outside the district, Smith and Garcia faced off on Super Tuesday as the frontrunners and ultimately gained enough voter support to challenge each other in May for the special election and November for the general election.
In the special election primary, Smith received 57,423 votes, or 36% of the vote, while Garcia earned 40,311 votes (25.4%), according to state election results. The assemblywoman earned 32% or 49,679 votes, and the Navy veteran received 37,381 votes or 23.9% in the general election primary.
The winner of the May 12 election will fill the remainder of former Rep. Katie Hill’s term after the congresswoman’s resignation last fall. The winner of the November general election will be elected to a full two-year term.
Much like other races across the nation, the 25th Congressional District hopefuls have faced an unprecedented disruption in campaigning and have turned to remote operations by holding virtual town halls, at-home phone banking and reminding supporters of a vote-by-mail-focused race.
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in late-March that voters in the 25th District would receive vote-by-mail ballots in an effort to protect public health and safety during the coronavirus pandemic. Less than a month later, the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk reported that more than 350,000 ballots were sent out.
Voters will still have a chance to visit vote centers while continuing to practice social distancing and other safety guidelines due to the pandemic. For more information see the Voting Period landing page at lavote.net.