LOS ANGELES – Republican Rep. Mike Garcia expanded his narrow lead Tuesday over Democratic challenger Assemblywoman Christy Smith in the battle for Garcia’s 25th Congressional District seat.
The latest numbers released by the Secretary of State’s Office show Garcia with a thin 422-vote lead, up from 104 votes on Monday. As of Tuesday, Garcia had 168,017 votes, or 50.1%, while Smith had 167,595, or 49.9%.
It was unclear how many ballots from the Nov. 3 election remain to be counted in the district.
The race has remained close since election night. As ballots were tallied over the course of last week, the lead changed hands twice. Smith, D- Santa Clarita, at one point had a 1,287-vote lead, but Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, erased that advantage and took a narrow lead.
The 25th Congressional District stretches from the Antelope Valley into Ventura County. Vote by mail ballots will continue to be accepted through Nov. 20 if they were postmarked by Election Day.
Garcia defeated Smith, 54.86%-45.14%, or 95,667-78,721, in a May 12 special election to fill the final 7 1/2 months of the term of former Rep. Katie Hill, D-Agua Dulce, who resigned following the online release of salacious photos and allegations of an extramarital affair with a staff member.
The seat had long been held by Republicans until Hill’s 2018 victory over then-Rep. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale.