LOS ANGELES – Republican Rep. Mike Garcia now leads Democratic challenger Assemblywoman Christy Smith by 446 votes in the race for the 25th Congressional District seat.
Garcia added 24 votes to lead his lead in Thursday’s count. He has 168,067 votes, or 50.1%, while Smith has 167,621, or 49.9%, according to figures released by the Secretary of State’s Office.
It was unclear how many ballots from the Nov. 3 election remain to be counted in the district. Friday is the last day vote by mail ballots will accepted.
The race has remained close since election night. Smith, D-Santa Clarita, took a 1,287-vote lead Nov. 9 after trailing by 432 votes at the start of the day’s count. Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, regained the lead Nov. 10, pulling 159 votes ahead and has led at the end of each day’s count since then.
The 25th Congressional District stretches from the Antelope Valley into Ventura County.
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.