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2020 California's 25th congressional district special election

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2020 California's 25th congressional district special election

← 2018 March 3 and May 12, 2020 November 2020 →

California's 25th congressional district
  x150px Christy Smith CA Assembly official photo (cropped).jpg
Candidate Mike Garcia Christy Smith
Party Republican Democratic Party (United States)
Percentage 56.00%[lower-alpha 1] 44.00%[lower-alpha 1]

U.S. Representative before election

Katie Hill
Democratic Party (United States)

Elected U.S. Representative

Mike Garcia
Republican

Template:Elections in California A special election to the United States House of Representatives for California's 25th congressional district was held following Katie Hill's resignation on November 3, 2019.[2] The primary was held on March 3, 2020, coinciding with Super Tuesday. Since no candidate received more than 50% of the primary vote, the top two finishers, Democrat Christy Smith and Republican Mike Garcia, advanced to a runoff election held on May 12, 2020. The winner of the special election will finish the remaining balance of Hill's term in the 116th Congress. A separate primary and general election on March 3, 2020 and on November 3, 2020 respectively will determine the representative for the 117th Congress.[3]

On May 13, Smith conceded defeat to Garcia after vote returns showed Garcia in the lead. The results of the special election marked the first time since 1998 that Republicans were able to flip a Democratic-held House seat in California.[4][5]

Background[edit source | edit]

Buck McKeon (R) represented the district from 1993 until he retired in 2014. Steve Knight (R) then won over Tony Strickland (R) in the 2014 election and served until he was defeated by Katie Hill (D) in 2018 by 8.8 percentage points.

In recent presidential elections the district narrowly voted for Barack Obama (D) in 2008 and Mitt Romney (R) in 2012, while Hillary Clinton (D) won the district by 7 percentage points in 2016.[6]

Hill resigned in October 2019 following a scandal in which she admitted to an "inappropriate relationship" with a campaign staffer and nude photos of her were published without her consent.[7]

On November 15, 2019, the Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, issued a proclamation declaring a special election for the 25th Congressional District on May 12, 2020, with a primary on March 3, 2020.[8]

Candidates[edit source | edit]

California uses a primary system in which all candidates run in a single primary regardless of political party.[9] In regular congressional elections, the top two vote getters in the primary advance to a runoff election regardless of party affiliation or vote tally. However, in the special election for the balance of Hill's term, had a candidate received more than 50% of the primary vote, they would have been automatically elected and the runoff election cancelled.[10]

On October 31, 2019, at least a dozen people had filed paperwork with the FEC to run for the seat.[2] According to the certified list of candidates signed by the Secretary of State of California on January 15, 2020, six Democrats and six Republicans had filed for the special election and would appear on the ballot.[11]

Democratic candidate Christopher Smith ended his campaign shortly after participating in the January 9 debate. While stopping short of a full endorsement, he stated "among the remaining field, the progressive candidate with the best chance of winning is Cenk Uygur."[12]

Democratic Party[edit source | edit]

Declared[edit source | edit]

  • Robert Cooper III, university professor[11]
  • Getro Franck Elize, patient resource worker[11]
  • David Rudnick, businessman, real estate investor, political activist and U.S. Marine Corps veteran[11]
  • Christy Smith, state assemblywoman[11]
  • Aníbal Valdez-Ortega, attorney and community organizer[11]

Declined[edit source | edit]

Withdrawn[edit source | edit]

Republican Party[edit source | edit]

Declared[edit source | edit]

Declined[edit source | edit]

Withdrawn[edit source | edit]

Special election[edit source | edit]

The special election and the primary election for the regular general election for California's 25th congressional district was held on March 3, 2020. The normal primary election determined which two candidates would advance to the 2020 general election, while the special election was to determine who will finish the remainder of Hill's term. No candidate in the special election received more than 50% of the vote so the top two candidates advanced to a runoff to be held on May 12, 2020.

Several candidates were on the ballot in both elections on March 3, as these elections concern two different Congresses.[24]

Debates[edit source | edit]

On December 22, 2019, Democratic candidates Christopher Smith, Aníbal Valdéz-Ortega and Cenk Uygur called on Christy Smith, Robert Cooper III and Getro Elize to attend a primary debate "to be held tentatively at College of the Canyons on Thursday, January 9, 2020".[25][26][27] The Talk of Santa Clarita, an interview podcast within the district that hosted a Democratic debate during the 2018 election and has interviewed both Christy Smith and Cenk Uygur,[28][29] also volunteered to host a primary debate for the Democratic candidates on January 25, 2020.[30]

Uygur stated on January 4 that all of the Democratic candidates, with the notable exception of Christy Smith, will attend a debate in Palmdale (at Transplants Brewing Company) on January 9, 2020.[31][37] Despite receiving an offer by the other candidates to change the date of the debate to better accommodate her, Christy Smith's campaign has stated that her work in the State Assembly prevents her from attending the debate, which is set to be moderated by The Talk of Santa Clarita.[38] Christy Smith's campaign has been given several opportunities to debate on different dates at different venues, including future debates unrelated to the Brewing Company debate, but her campaign also declined, with no reasons given.[39]

Endorsements[edit source | edit]

Template:Endorsements box Template:Endorsements box Template:Endorsements box Template:Endorsements box Template:Endorsements box

Results[edit source | edit]

Results by county:
  Smith—30–40%
2020 California's 25th congressional district special election, March 3[40]
Party Candidate Votes %
style="background-color: Template:Democratic Party (United States)/meta/color; width: 5px;" | [[Democratic Party (United States)|Template:Democratic Party (United States)/meta/shortname]] Christy Smith 58,563 36.2%
Republican Mike Garcia 41,169 25.4%
Republican Steve Knight 27,799 17.2%
style="background-color: Template:Democratic Party (United States)/meta/color; width: 2px;" | [[Democratic Party (United States)|Template:Democratic Party (United States)/meta/shortname]] Cenk Uygur 10,609 6.6%
style="background-color: Template:Democratic Party (United States)/meta/color; width: 2px;" | [[Democratic Party (United States)|Template:Democratic Party (United States)/meta/shortname]] Aníbal Valdez-Ortega 7,368 4.6%
Republican Courtney Lackey 3,072 1.9%
style="background-color: Template:Democratic Party (United States)/meta/color; width: 2px;" | [[Democratic Party (United States)|Template:Democratic Party (United States)/meta/shortname]] Robert Cooper III 2,962 1.8%
Republican David Lozano 2,758 1.7%
Republican Daniel Mercuri 2,533 1.6%
Republican Kenneth Jenks 2,528 1.6%
style="background-color: Template:Democratic Party (United States)/meta/color; width: 2px;" | [[Democratic Party (United States)|Template:Democratic Party (United States)/meta/shortname]] Getro F. Elize 1,414 0.9%
style="background-color: Template:Democratic Party (United States)/meta/color; width: 2px;" | [[Democratic Party (United States)|Template:Democratic Party (United States)/meta/shortname]] David Rudnick 1,085 0.7%
Total votes 161,860 100%

Runoff[edit source | edit]

Since no candidate in the March 3, 2020 special election received more than 50.0% of the vote, a runoff election between the top two finishers was held on May 12, 2020.[8]

Endorsements[edit source | edit]

Template:Endorsements box Template:Endorsements box

Predictions[edit source | edit]

Source Ranking As of
The Cook Political Report[41] Template:USRaceRating April 24, 2020
Inside Elections[42] Template:USRaceRating April 23, 2020
Sabato's Crystal Ball[43] Template:USRaceRating April 23, 2020
Politico[44] Template:USRaceRating April 19, 2020

Polling[edit source | edit]

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size[lower-alpha 2]
Margin
of error
Mike
Garcia (R)
Christy
Smith (D)
Undecided
1892 Polling (R) Mar 8–11, 2020 500 (LV) ± 4.38% 43% 39% 10%

Results[edit source | edit]

Template:Election box winning candidate with party linkTemplate:Election box total
2020 California's 25th congressional district special election runoff, May 12.[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
style="background-color: Template:Democratic Party (United States)/meta/color; width: 5px;" | [[Democratic Party (United States)|Template:Democratic Party (United States)/meta/shortname]] Christy Smith 64,671 44.00%

Notes[edit source | edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Incomplete results as of May 12.[1]
  2. Key:
    A – all adults
    RV – registered voters
    LV – likely voters
    V – unclear
Partisan clients

See also[edit source | edit]

References[edit source | edit]

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  37. [32][33][34][35][36]
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External links[edit source | edit]

Official campaign websites
Public forum with candidates
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Template:2020 United States elections Template:California elections