U.S. Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, declared victory Wednesday morning in his bid for re-election to Congress.
In early returns Tuesday night, the numbers were neck-and-neck between Garcia and Democratic challenger Christy Smith for the 27th Congressional District, which includes the Santa Clarita Valley.
But when updated polling returns were posted early Wednesday morning, Garcia had amassed a lead of more than 17,000 votes, leading Smith, 57.58% to 42.42%, with an unknown number of ballots remaining to be counted.
“The people of CA-27 have spoken, and I’m honored to be reelected to serve another two years in Congress,” Garcia said in a prepared statement. “To my family, my team, the voters, and the volunteers who supported our campaign, I am humbled by your efforts that led to this massive victory, and I look forward to continuing to fight for you. Thank you!”
It was the third time Garcia and Smith had faced off in a congressional election, with Garcia winning all three contests. Both candidates are SCV natives: Garcia went to Saugus High, and Smith went to Hart High.
“I applaud Christy Smith for jumping in the ring again. It was another effective and well-run campaign,” Garcia said in the statement. “To all the voters of CA-27: Thank you. It’s an honor to be your congressman, and whether you voted for me or not, I’ll continue working every day to serve you and your interests in Washington, D.C., and here in the district – fighting inflation, lowering costs, keeping California families safe, and ensuring the United States remains the greatest nation the world has ever seen.”
In response to Wednesday’s returns and with an unknown number of ballots remaining to be counted, Garcia said he was feeling confident.
The Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder announced its next update for election results would be Friday.
“Hopefully, by Friday, we get the last big [update] and we can put a lid on it for sure,” Garcia said in an interview. “But we’re in a good position in victory.”
According to Garcia, though it may seem counterintuitive, he and his campaign staff were encouraged by the initial voting results on Tuesday.
“In 2020, we had a very close margin of victory, and we were back and forth for 30 days,” Garcia said. “The results that came out on election night had us down something like 12% to 15%.”
In comparison to election night in 2020, Garcia had a feeling the voting updates that would come would be favorable.
This is the first race since redistricting after the 2020 Census dropped some of the 25th District, including Simi Valley, and the district was renumbered the 27th District.
Garcia said that, before the redistricting, his office served a lot of those constituents, who are now part of the 27th District. So, residents in the Antelope Valley, portions of Lancaster — those areas that were picked up in the north — and portions of Porter Ranch and Granada Hills seemed to show support for him, he added.
“We’re going to keep doing what we’ve always done, which is focused on constituent services,” Garcia said.
Smith declined to provide comment regarding the early returns of voting results. Adam Robak, digital and communication director for Smith’s campaign, said they are waiting for the preliminary statement of the vote to be released before issuing a statement.