Former combatant wins US House of Representatives, cements Republican rule

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Rep. Mike Garcia, a former Navy fighter pilot, scored an upset US House victory Wednesday, handing it to Republicans. chamber control And in a state where Democrats dominate and is also home to House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, the likely future chairman, it gives Republicans a rare reason to celebrate.

Garcia was elected to a third term in a Democratic-leaning constituency where then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was elected in 2020 by a double-digit margin. This was Garcia’s third straight win over former Congressman and Democrat Christie Smith.

Nearly 75% of the votes were counted, with Garcia at 54.2% and Smith at 45.8%.

Garcia, who flew more than 30 combat missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom, is the only Republican congressman with a strongly democratic district in Los Angeles County.

218 seats required rule the houseAdding the latest California results, Republicans have secured 218 seats so far, while Democrats have won 211 seats.

In another important state victory, Rep. Mike Levin defeated a tough challenge from Republican businessman Brian Marriott in the Southern California district that straddles Orange and San Diego counties.

Nearly all votes were tallied, with Levin at 52.65% and Maryott at 47.4%.

Levin said he was eager to return to Washington and continue working on affordable health care, climate change and helping veterans. come to the district on the final day of the election in hopes of boosting Levin.

Garcia’s victory, with Republicans taking control of the House, was accompanied by political cockiness, as no Republican has won a statewide election campaign since 2006, which is also home to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in San Francisco. California is known nationally as a liberal monolith, but conservative forces remain, mainly in the suburbs and rural and agricultural areas of Southern California.

But even with a win, Republicans remain in the minority within the state’s congressional delegation.

Of the 52 seats, the largest delegation in Congress, Republican candidates won just nine constituencies as of Wednesday. The tally continued in his five precincts, but one precinct was between his two Democrats.

Garcia was first elected in the May 2020 special election and was re-elected two years ago with just 333 votes. He faced an even tougher challenge this year after his left-leaning constituencies were reorganized to become a stronger Democrat.

Smith, a former congressman, argued that Garcia was out of step with voters in his constituency. He was endorsed by then-President Trump in 2020, then joined House Republicans who rejected electoral votes from Arizona and Pennsylvania and opposed Trump’s impeachment after the Capitol Civil War. She also emphasized Garcia’s opposition to abortion rights.

Garcia emphasized military service and cited a vote in favor of a $2,000 stimulus package as an example of his political independence. He also highlights local issues, such as his concern over the illegal cultivation of marijuana.

In California, the House’s main battlefields are Orange County (a suburban sprawl southeast of Los Angeles, once a stronghold of the Republican Party that has become increasingly diversified and democratic) and the United States for agricultural production. The inland Central Valley, sometimes called the salad bowl of the country. .

The hottest remaining competition in the state occurred in the Central Valley, where Republican John Duarte led by 84 votes for the vacant seat in the 13th District, before Democrat Adam Gray took a narrow lead. Did.

Underlining the proximity of the race, Gray’s campaign formed a committee and began raising funds to fund a possible recount. In the latest return, Gray leads by 600 votes behind him, with nearly 85% of the votes tallied for him.

In Orange County, Democrat Rep. Katie Porter led Republican Scott Boe by nearly three points. Bo cut his lead in half earlier this week as the count continued. But Porter, the party’s progressive star, rallied. About 90% of the votes were tallied.

In the Central Valley’s District 22, where about two-thirds of the votes were tallied, Republican Rep. David Baradao, who voted to impeach then-President Donald Trump, led Democrat Rudy Salas by 5.6 points. rice field.


Follow AP’s coverage of the 2022 midterm elections. check out You can learn more about the issues and factors in the midterm elections.