California’s Special Election for the 25th Congressional District has emerged as a high-profile race, and a target for the GOP. The seat was previously held by disgraced former Congresswoman Katie Hill, before she resigned her seat on account of her sex scandal. Democrats tapped Assemblywoman Christy Smith to take the seat, but Republican Mike Garcia, a Navy veteran, is putting the May 12th special election on notice.
Republicans view this race as winnable, especially given the disgrace brought by Katie Hill. GOP powerhouse group Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF) is going all-in for Garcia. Endorsed by Republican leadership in the House of Representatives, CLF rolled-out a $600,000 ad campaign against Smith. The digital and mailing campaign is aimed to target swing voters, and urge GOP voters to turn out.
CLF’s effort works to expose Smith’s record as a school board member on a host of issues, including cutting teacher salaries and issuing pink slips, supporting sanctuary cities and offering health care to undocumented immigrants. GOP efforts are also painting Smith as a career politician and Garcia as a political outsider.
Katie Hill won the 25th district's seat in the 2018 midterm elections, over Republican incumbent Steve Knight, by 9 points. Hillary Clinton carried the district in 2016 by points; the seat was historically rated as "likely Democratic" or "lean Democratic," but after the March 3rd primary, the nonpartisan Cook Political Report moved the race to a toss-up:
With less than a month until the special election, this seat is anyone’s to win. Watch CLF’s full ad here: