Primary will narrow field to two candidates in California’s 27th Congressional District

Seven candidates are running in the top-two primary for California’s 27th Congressional District on June 7, 2022. Incumbent Mike Garcia (R), John Quaye Quartey (D), and Christy Smith (D) have received the most media attention.

Garcia defeated Smith in the 2020 general election by 333 votes, making it the third-closest U.S. House race that year. Brianna Lee of LAist said that this year’s race should be more competitive because redistricting “jettisoned the district’s most conservative outpost in Simi Valley, giving Democratic voters even more of an edge.” The main story to watch in the primary election, Lee said, was “who [Democrats] trust most to take on Garcia during what promises to be a tough election year.”

Garcia was first elected to the U.S. House in May 2020 when he won a special election to succeed Katie Hill (D). Garcia served in the U.S. Navy as a pilot for 20 years and worked for Raytheon after his retirement. Garcia’s website lists the economy, jobs, taxes, and inflation as his key campaign issues. The Republican Party of California endorsed Garcia.

Quartey served as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy and founded Safiyah Partners, an entrepreneurial investment firm, after his retirement. Quartey cited the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, as the reason he is running for office and his website highlights expanding access to the ballot box, decreasing the income inequality gap, and gun safety as key issues. Three U.S. Reps. from California—Barbara Lee, Katie Porter, and Eric Swalwell—endorsed Quartey.

Smith served in the California State Assembly from 2018 to 2020. Smith worked as an analyst at the U.S. Department of Education and founded the Valencia Valley Technological Education Foundation. Smith’s campaign website highlights expanding access to healthcare, improving the quality of public education, and codifying Roe v. Wade as key campaign issues. Smith’s endorsements include the California Democratic Party, the California Federation of Teachers, four members of the U.S. House, 22 members of the California State Legislature, and seven state elected officials.

The two candidates to receive the most votes (regardless of party) will run in the district’s general election on November 8, 2022. Three independent election forecasters rated the general election as Toss-up. The district’s representation has shifted party hands multiple times in the past decade, from Stephen Knight (R) to Hill (D) to Garcia (R).

Also running in the primary are Ruth Luevanos (D), Mark Pierce (R), David Rudnick (R), and Fepbrina Keivaulqe Autiameineire (I).