US House win by ex-combat pilot cements Republican control

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Republican Rep. Mike Garcia, a former Navy fighter pilot, scored an upset U.S. Home win in a strongly Democratic district Wednesday, handing the GOP management of the chamber and giving the get together a uncommon cause to have a good time in a state dominated by Democrats.

The conservative Republican was reelected to a 3rd time period in a district that has a 12.5-point Democratic registration edge and was carried by then-presidential candidate Joe Biden by double digits in 2020. It was Garcia’s third consecutive victory over Democrat Christy Smith, a former legislator.

Garcia was first elected in a particular election in Might 2020, then was reelected two years in the past by simply 333 votes. He confronted a good harder problem this yr, after his left-leaning district was redrawn and have become extra solidly Democratic.

With almost 75% of the ballots counted, Garcia had 54.2%, to 45.8% for Smith.

Garcia, who flew over 30 fight missions throughout Operation Iraqi Freedom, is the only GOP Home member with a district anchored in closely Democratic Los Angeles County.

It takes 218 seats to regulate the Home. With the addition of the most recent California outcomes, Republicans have locked down 218 seats to date with Democrats claiming 211.

In one other key race within the state, Democratic Rep. Mike Levin beat again a tricky problem from Republican businessman Brian Maryott in a Southern California district that straddles Orange and San Diego counties.

With almost all of the votes counted, Levin had 52.65%, to 47.4% for Maryott.

Levin mentioned he was desirous to return to Washington to proceed engaged on inexpensive well being care, local weather change and help for veterans. Biden traveled to the district within the election’s closing days in hopes of giving Levin a lift.

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Garcia’s win, which gave Republicans Home management, got here with a splash of political sass, arriving in a state so solidly Democratic {that a} Republican hasn’t received a statewide race since 2006. It is usually residence to Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco. California is understood nationally as a liberal monolith, however pockets of conservative power stay, primarily within the Southern California suburbs and rural and farming stretches.

However even with the wins, Republicans will stay a small minority throughout the state’s congressional delegation.

Of the state’s 52 seats — the biggest delegation in Congress — GOP candidates had captured simply 9 as of Wednesday. Counting continued in 5 districts, though one was a matchup between two Democrats.

Smith, a former legislator, had argued Garcia was out of step with district voters: He was endorsed by then-President Trump in 2020, then joined Home Republicans who rejected electoral votes from Arizona and Pennsylvania and opposed Trump’s impeachment after the Capitol rebel. She additionally highlighted Garcia’s opposition to abortion rights.

Garcia emphasised his navy service and pointed to his vote supporting $2,000 stimulus checks as one instance of his political independence. He’s additionally pressured native points, together with concern over unlawful marijuana cultivation.

In California, the first Home battlegrounds are Orange County — a suburban expanse southeast of Los Angeles that was as soon as a GOP stronghold however has change into more and more various and Democratic — and the Central Valley, an inland stretch typically known as the nation’s salad bowl for its agricultural manufacturing.

The tightest remaining contest within the state emerged within the Central Valley, the place Democrat Adam Grey seized a tissue-thin lead over Republican John Duarte for an open seat in District 13.

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Underscoring the closeness of the race, Grey’s marketing campaign shaped a committee to start elevating cash to finance a potential recount. The newest returns confirmed Grey main by 600 votes, with almost 85% of the ballots tabulated.

In Orange County, Democratic Rep. Katie Porter was holding a virtually 3-point edge over Republican Scott Baugh in one of many nation’s marquee races. Baugh had slashed her lead in half earlier this week, however Porter, a star of the get together’s progressive wing, rebounded. About 90% of the votes had been counted.

Within the Central Valley’s twenty second District, the place about two-thirds of the votes have been counted, Republican Rep. David Valadao, who voted to question then-President Donald Trump, had a 5.6-point margin over Democrat Rudy Salas.


Comply with the AP’s protection of the 2022 midterm elections at And take a look at to study extra in regards to the points and components at play within the midterms.