Garcia, Smith hold commanding lead in 2022 Primary Election

Voters the touch screens as they vote in person at La Mesa Junior High School in Santa Clarita on Tuesday, 060722. Dan Watson/The Signal

Both incumbent Republican Mike Garcia and Democratic challenger Christy Smith continue to hold their commanding lead in the race to be placed on the ballot come the 2022 General Election this fall, according to the latest election results reported by the California Secretary of State’s website.  

Roughly 24 hours after 2022 Primary Election polls closed on Tuesday, Garcia holds the most votes among the pool of candidates vying for the 27th Congressional District seat, with 33,653, or 49.6%, of the total votes already counted. Smith, who has run against Garcia twice in previous elections, is in second place with 24,007 (35.4%) of the votes.  

Behind the two current front runners, Democrat Quaye Quartey has 4,037 (5.9%) votes, Democrat Ruth Luevanos has 3,599 (5.3%), Republican David Rudnick has 1,692 (2.5%) and Republican Mark Pierce has 913 (1.3%).   

Except for the U.S. president, county central committees, or local office elections, California has followed for the last decade the “Top Two Candidates Open Primary Act,” meaning the two candidates who move on from the primary races are decided purely on total vote count, regardless of party affiliation.  

In state elections, Republican Assemblywoman Suzette Valladares leads the Assembly District 40 race among its three candidates, holding the the lead with 27,866 (51%), to Democrat Pilar Schiavo’s 16,129 (29.5%) and Democrat Annie Cho’s 10,653 (19.5%).  

The seat, which Valladares currently represents, will change designations come the new term, changing from Assembly District 38 to Assembly District 40. The new district expands the current borders to the south and encompass a majority of the Santa Clarita Valley. Assembly District 36, which is currently represented by Republican Assemblyman Tom Lackey, will be changed to Assembly District 34 and add Agua Dulce to its borders.  

Lackey now trails Republican Thurston “Smitty” Smith 12,029 (29.9%) to 12,020 (29.9%). Smith is also an Assembly incumbent, as he and Lackey were placed into the same district as a result of post-Census redistricting. Democrat Rita Ramirez, who previously led Lackey on election night, is in third place with 11,187 (27.8%), Democrat Raj Kahlon is in fourth with 2,180, Republican Paul Fournier 1,660 (4.1%) and Republican Roger LaPlante holds 1,183 (2.9%) of the total votes already counted.  

Sheriff Alex Villanueva leads a pack of nine candidates jockeying to be L.A. County’s top cop, with the incumbent holding 258,808 (34.38%) of the total votes. Challengers Robert Luna and Eric Strong have 184,640 (24.53%) and 94,498 (12.55%) of the total votes already counted, respectively.    

Ballots will continue to be counted during the canvass period, and the Secretary of State has until July 15 to certify the election. 

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