Rep. Mike Garcia, watched here campaigning in 2020, faces a hard reelection fight since of his conservative vote record and also his increasingly autonomous district.

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As Rep. Mike Garcia reflect on his an initial year in office, he highlighted stands that many Californians would favor: Urging the repeal the a Trump-era tax measure that damages residents in high-tax states. Fighting against federal capital for the state’s troubled high-speed rail project. Helping military spouses maintain professional licenses once they move.

“One year in, and we room just obtaining started. California is home, and it’s too great to provide up on,” Garcia composed in a May short article in Santa Clarita’s the Signal newspaper. “We fan it come our children to make certain that they have the very same incredible opportunities and assured protection that this nation and this state afforded us.”

The congressman, who district has northern Los Angeles County, omitted various other parts that his record: Voting versus the certification of electoral votes in Pennsylvania and also Arizona that aided cement Joe Biden’s presidential victory. Opposing the impeachment of chairman Trump because that his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection. Standing against legalizing Dreamers and reauthorizing the Violence against Women Act. Cosponsoring legislation that would successfully ban every abortion and some forms of birth control.

Garcia, that won his seat by 333 votes in November, is up because that reelection following year in what is meant to be among the most contested congressional gyeongju in the nation. Countless dollars will most likely be invested on the race due to the fact that it will be key to identify which party controls the House.

Garcia’s portrayal that his document reflects the dichotomy the is straddling together he tries to save his GOP basic united and also energized while no alienating the growing variety of diverse, liberal voter in California’s 25th conference District.

A Republican that supports Garcia doesn’t agree with some of his votes however thinks the congressman is placing himself to be a rising star if the GOP takes control of the House and also he wins reelection.

“Let’s be honest about it — he’s between a rock and also a hard place. In order come be reliable in D.C., he’s got to take positions that ns think periodically are not sustained by his district,” stated R. Rex Parris, the GOP market of Lancaster. “He’s walking the tightrope more than any type of other guy in Congress right now.”

Political professionals say the stances the 45-year-old former Navy pilot has actually staked the end reflect contemporary politics after four years that Trump, who concentrated on rallying his most ardent pendant at the expense of alienating voter in the middle.

“It is so important now in both next to organize your base to win, particularly in legislature elections,” claimed Raphael J. Sonenshein, executive, management director the the Edmund G. “Pat” Brown Institute for Public Affairs at Cal State L.A. “The inquiry is not, ‘Is he mirroring his district?’ The question is, ‘Is he reflecting his party in his district?’ and also the answer is yes.”

Garcia declined to take part in an interview for this story.

He represents a an ar that consists of Simi sink in Ventura County and also the Antelope Valley and Santa Clarita in northern Los Angeles County. As soon as a longtime Republican stronghold, the area has grown less conservative together the northern edge the L.A."s suburban sprawl has grown much more diverse. Democrats now have actually an 8-point voter it is registered edge, 39% come 31%, according to the secretary the state’s office. No-party-preference voter make up one more 22% the the district’s voters.

The district can grow even much more Democratic if it is redrawn as part of the decennial redistricting motivated by the 2020 census. Populace fluctuations average the state is shedding one the its conference seats for the first time in its history. That seat is widely intended to come native Los Angeles County, which might pull the 25th district right into a an ext populated, liberal area.

In 2018, democratic newcomer Katie Hill flipped the seat however she resigned a year later after the unauthorized publication of intimate photos and amid allegations of inappropriate relationships through subordinates.


Garcia winner the one-of-a-kind election to change her in the spring of 2020, and then the regular election in November.

Republicans to speak they room confident Garcia will be reelected due to the fact that the party that holds the White House typically suffers casualty in the first midterm and because Democrats have overreached in your healthcare, climate readjust and safety proposals. Voters who lean Democratic, consisting of young people and also minorities, are additionally less most likely to poll in non-presidential elections.

“It’s really difficult to take the end an incumbent, specifically in a non-presidential year,” stated Parris, Lancaster‘s mayor.

Parris disagrees through Garcia’s opposition to issues such together a route for long-term residency for young people lugged into this nation illegally, the reauthorization that the Violence versus Women Act and also the certification of the electoral college outcomes in Arizona and also Pennsylvania.

“I think he to be recognizing in order because that him to become a power in the House, there were certain things he had actually to do, and also he walk them, and I think the district will advantage as a result,” the said. “A many of world have a poor taste in your mouth since of it, yet I would lot rather have actually someone in there who can assist the district in points that matter. And that’s money.”

David Wasserman, a nonpartisan elections skilled with the cook Political Report, agreed the Garcia might be a an effective player in a GOP-led home — if that is able to hang onto his seat after redistricting.

“He is a very prized member that the Republican conference because of his high profile in a Biden district, his biography and also his willingness to vote to the ideal of his district. For this reason there’s no doubt the if he to be to stay in Congress, that would have a shining future in a Republican conference,” he said. But “his career could be over in less than 2 years.”

Democrats argue that Garcia has betrayed his constituents, and also will pay because that it at the ballot box.

“He doesn’t care around his district. He cares about his base,” stated Stephen Daniels, organize of the speak of Santa Clarita podcast.

Daniels is amongst the locals that say the Garcia has adjusted since he an initial ran because that office in a campaign that leaned greatly on his biography together a native son of the ar whose parents to be Mexican immigrants. He to be a fighter jet pilot who flew dozens that combat missions during the Iraq War and also later operated in the defense industry.

Daniels found the candidate likable in spite of their opposing political views once they recorded a podcast together early in his 2020 run.

“He win me together a yes, really nice guy, someone who is an ext about logic and looking in ~ the facts 보다 partisanship.” Daniels said, adding they arisen a friendship and also exchanged texts for a period. “That’s adjusted completely. He has voted as a trumped acolyte continually.”

Daniels labelled Garcia a “traitor” on facebook after the congressman voted no to certify the Arizona and also Pennsylvania election outcomes the job of the insurrection. Garcia has decreased to return to the podcast.

Daniels is mystified by Garcia acquisition positions that will certainly alienate the bulk of his constituents.

“This district went for Biden by 10 points. And also winner by 333 votes,” Daniels said. “For Mike Garcia to not take that right into account — what sort of district he’s acquired — provides me wonder if he wants to be in Congress. He’s not thinking an extremely well. This is a purple district.”

Garcia’s narrow win came over Democrat Christy Smith together Democrat Joe Biden won the district by much more than 35,000 votes.

Democrats blamed Smith’s loss on a combination of factors: liberals being demoralized after working tough to obtain Hill elected; Smith running a centrist campaign that no excite progressives and the party eschewing in-person canvassing due to the fact that of the pandemic.

Smith is among the democratic candidates who have announced they are running versus Garcia following year. Others encompass Simi valley Councilwoman Ruth Luevanos, combat veteran john Quaye Quartey and Rhoda Nazanin, a job manager at the Skirball social Center. Hill is additionally pondering a run.


Garcia’s district is among 22 that Democrats are currently targeting because that the 2022 election. The congressman was among a grasp of GOP residence incumbents who raised more than $500,000 in the very first three months of 2021. In May, he started running radio ads in English and Spanish touting his background together a fighter pilot and also calling for his reelection.

Garcia’s supporters argue he has been successful in looking the end for his constituents, securing $20 million for framework projects and helping more than 1,000 people who had problems with federal agencies. He’s a familiar face in the district since he return to his Santa Clarita residence every weekend.

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He has actually outlined ways he has actually bucked his party, together as sustaining the renaming of military bases that honor Confederate soldiers and also the $2,000 COVID economic stimulation checks, and also has described his votes to his constituents.

“… my votes and principles room anchored just to the Constitution and the country,” he wrote in a Jan. 30 post in the Signal. “I have no remote loyalties to a party, come a chairman or to any individual.”