On June 7, the day marked for the 2022 California Primary Election, local voters will have to decide on which names will be on the ballot for the November general election.
And in California Congressional District 27 — the district representing Santa Clarita as well as the Antelope Valley — six names will be jockeying for only two spots on that final ballot, with the winner going on to represent local residents in Washington D.C.
In addition to the new names on the ballot this election cycle, the congressional district representing the Santa Clarita Valley both has a new name and new boundaries as a result of the 2020 U.S. Census.
Although geographically similar to previously proposed maps, the most recent would reclassify the Santa Clarita Valley from being in the 25th Congressional District and place it in the 27th Congressional District — with shifts in the district’s boundaries appearing to favor future Democratic candidates for the seat.
The new map, which was approved last year, would shift the name of the congressional district, but still include the SCV, Porter Ranch and Granada Hills while gaining Lancaster and removing its portion of Ventura County (Simi Valley), and eastern sections such as Llano and Lake Los Angeles. The 27th District, according to CalMatters.com, will be 40% registered Democrat versus 30% registered Republicans.
The election will feature incumbent Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, and Democrat Christy Smith, who will both be squaring off against one another after having previously run against each other twice before in the wake of former-Rep. Katie Hill stepping down in 2019.
Additionally, other challengers looking to take the seat include Democrat Ruth Luevanos, a teacher, Democrat Quaye Quartey, a small business owner, Republican Mark Pierce, a federal employees’ trainer and Republican David Rudnick, a business owner.
Profiles on the candidates appear in the order as presented on the ballot.
Mike Garcia, Republican
Incumbent Mike Garcia has served as the congressional representative for Santa Clarita, and the 25th District (now named the 27th District), since first winning a special election against Christy Smith in 2020.
In speaking with The Signal on Friday, the former fighter pilot turned politician stated that his priorities have been and will continue to be economic security and national security.
“Americans, more than anything, want stability, they want security,” said Garcia. “They want to know that their elected officials are qualified.”
Garcia touted, as evidence of his commitment to economic security, the Inflation Protection Act which he introduced that essentially prevents Congress from spending additional discretionary funds if the inflation rate reaches a certain level, as well as other measures. In terms of national security, Garcia stated he wanted to secure the U.S.-Mexico border; as for local security he derided the “Defund Police” philosophy that became a prevalent mantra following the death of George Floyd.
“I’m actually tired of all the partisanship, the toxic nature of all of these discussions,” Garcia added. “We have serious problems in our country right now. We need serious elected officials who are willing to work and work hard, roll up their sleeves and come to solutions.”
According to Federal Elections data, as of May 18, his campaign had raised $4,328,936.01. His campaign website is https://www.electmikegarcia.com/.
David Rudnick, Republican
David Rudnick, a small business owner, stated that a large emphasis for his campaign would be accountability and the economy. Specifically, he said, he wanted accountability for the FBI, an organization he holds responsible for the election loss of former-President Donald Trump.
Rudnick, who echoed the baseless claim that President Donald Trump won the 2020 Presidential Election, says that his primary objective, if elected to represent the 27th Congressional District, would be to enforce more transparency for federal law enforcement agencies.
On the economic front, Rudnick said that he was a business owner and business developer, and said he would like to consider himself a “jobs candidate.”
“I create jobs for a living and the government red tape nationally and of course here in the state and city, it’s destroying the entrepreneur,” Rudnick said. “It also intimidates startups and young people.”
“I would really like to bring jobs to this district other than just the aerospace and oil industry,” Rudnick added. “I also want to bring sanity back to our budget.”
According to Federal Elections data, no financial data has been reported by his campaign. Visit his campaign website at http://rudnickforcongress.com/.
Ruth Luevanos, Democrat
Ruth Luevanos did not respond to The Signal’s request for comment.
“As a mother in a three-generation household, Ruth knows that families raising children, taking care of parents and trying to make ends meet cannot wait any longer for politicians with empty promises,” reads her campaign website. “She knows that we need action now in Congress.”
According to her campaign website, Luevanos, a Simi Valley council member since 2018, says she wants to bring union jobs to the Antelope Valley, better infrastructure through completing the airport in the Antelope Valley, help create green jobs to better the environment, improve healthcare through bringing essential services to the Antelope Valley and improve local education resources.
According to Federal Elections data, she had raised $53,714.12 as of May 18. Visit her campaign website at https://www.ruth4congress.com/.
Quaye Quartey, Democrat
Quaye Quartey did not respond to The Signal’s request for comment.
John Quaye Quartey, II is the son of a Ghanaian immigrant, a veteran, an entrepreneur, and a proud husband and father. He is also a U.S. Naval Academy and was ultimately commissioned as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy.
“Quaye honorably retired from two decades of active-duty military service at the rank of Commander,” reads his campaign website. “He returned home to California and enrolled in Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, where he earned a Master’s degree in Business Management. Combining his military experience with his passion for giving back, Quaye started a small business whose mission is to grow other small businesses that serve working families in their communities.”
“Ballots have dropped and Democratic Primary voters need to read and see on the go that Navy Veteran Quaye Quartey will take the fight to Trump ally Mike Garcia, and win,” his website adds. “Quaye’s mother was born in the Jim Crow South. He served 20 years as a Naval intelligence officer. Quaye defended democracy abroad. He will defend our rights, and make sure politicians like Garcia can’t overturn elections in the future.”
According to Federal Elections data, he had raised $985,556.10. Visit his campaign website at https://quarteyforcongress.com/.
Christy Smith, Democrat
Former-Assemblywoman Christy Smith has long been involved in Santa Clarita politics and leadership, having served on the Newhall School District Board before winning her State Assembly seat in 2018.
After relinquishing her seat in Congress and running for Congress against Mike Garcia in 2021 twice, the second time losing by 333 votes, Smith is now running again, focusing on the economy, civil rights and helping the country better recover from COVID-19.
“Obviously, we still have a whole lot of folks that haven’t completely recovered from the COVID-economy and it’s just tough for everyone,” said Smith in speaking with The Signal on Friday. “I want to make sure that I continue to do all that I can to make sure that we’re bringing high salary-great jobs to the region, that we’re getting our fair share of infrastructure investment — which of course improves our job market — that we continue to put pressure on energy producers when cost of gas down, and making we’re creating a competitive market so that the costs of everything that people need to survive are coming down.”
Smith said her stance on gun issues includes the country finding a balance between people being able to legally own weapons and creating significant protections so that the United States is not seeing mass, gun-violence atrocities. She also said, in terms of civil rights, that she stands with the 70% majority of the district that wants to protect pro-choice initiatives.
Smith added that she wants to see voting rights protected, and that every neighborhood should “be fully funded.”
“Every neighborhood school should be a good school, every neighborhood school should be fully funded, whether that’s for special education needs, mental health needs and resources, paying our teachers what they deserve,” said Smith. “Really getting people off on the right foot to have the opportunity that’s the hallmark of the American experience.”
According to Federal Elections data, she had raised $927,205,79. Visit her campaign website at https://www.christyforcongress.org/.
Mark Pierce, Republican
Mark Pierce did not respond to The Signal’s request for comment.
“I’m an employee in the Antelope Valley, struggling just like many of you to feed my family, pay for gas, and keep a roof over our heads,” reads Pierce’s website. “I live in Palmdale and work in Lancaster, developing training materials for personnel who award and administer federal government contracts.”
His campaign website states 10 conservative values, including and adherence to “custom, convention and continuity.”
It adds various blog posts against insider training and supporting making groceries tax-deductible,
According to Federal Elections data, no financial data has been reported by his campaign. Visit his campaign at https://markpierceforcongress.blogspot.com/.