Garcia and Smith advance from top-two primary in CA-27

Incumbent Mike Garcia (R) and Christy Smith (D) advanced from a seven-candidate top-two primary for California’s 27th Congressional District on June 7, 2022. Based on unofficial returns, Garcia received 49.6% of the vote and Smith received 35.4%. John Quaye Quartey (D) finished third with 5.9%. Garcia and Smith will run in the general election on November 8, 2022.

In 2020, Garcia defeated Smith in the general election by 333 votes, making it the third-closest U.S. House race that year. Brianna Lee of LAist said the 2022 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 listed the economy, jobs, taxes, and inflation as his key campaign issues. The Republican Party of California endorsed Garcia.

Smith served in the California State Assembly from 2018 to 2020. She worked as an analyst at the U.S. Department of Education and founded the Valencia Valley Technological Education Foundation. Smith’s campaign website highlighted expanding access to healthcare, improving the quality of public education, and codifying Roe v. Wade as key campaign issues. Smith’s endorsements included 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.

As of the primary election, three independent election forecasters rated the general election as Toss-up. The district’s representation shifted party hands multiple times in the past decade, from Stephen Knight (R) to Hill (D) to Garcia (R).

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