Christy Smith concedes to Mike Garcia in California House race


Democrat Christy Smith conceded her race Monday to Rep. Mike Garcia, a Republican, bringing to a close the last of California’s 53 races and bolstering the GOP’s minority in the new year.

Nearly a month after Election Day, and with some ballots still being tallied, Ms. Smith said she can no longer close a 339-vote gap with Mr. Garcia.

“We exhausted every possible option, and did everything within our power to ensure that every voice in this election was heard. Nonetheless, we came up short,” she wrote in a statement.

The seat, which includes some of Los Angeles and Ventura counties, had swung to Republicans in a special election in May, after Rep. Katie Hill’s abrupt resignation amid a sex scandal.

Mr. Garcia won that special election and now has won re-election.

Republicans will hold 11 of California’s 53 House seats next year. After the 2018 election they held just seven.

Mr. Garcia’s win is yet another blow to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who had been anticipating a significant expansion of her majority but instead has watched it narrow dramatically.

As of Monday, Democrats have secured 222 seats and the GOP has 209.

In addition to Mr. Garcia’s win, Iowa on Monday certified Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks as the winner of a seat there. Her margin of victory was six votes, out of about 400,000 cast.

Republicans hold vote leads in the remaining four races, all in New York, though the Associated Press has not projected winners for those seats yet and one of the races has seen the lead flip from a 13-point lead for the Democrat this weekend, to a 12-point lead for the Republican by Monday.

Should the GOP win those four seats, that would leave Democrats with a 222-213 advantage over Republicans, which would be the narrowest House margin in two decades.

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