By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Incumbent Republican Rep. Mike Garcia has taken a small lead over his Democratic challenger, Assemblymember Christy Smith, in the tightly contested 25th Congressional District race.

With 79.74% of precincts reporting as of early Friday morning, Garcia was leading 50.05% to 49.95%, a margin of only 265 votes.

The 25th district includes parts of northern Los Angeles County and eastern Ventura County, including the cities of Palmdale, Santa Clarita and most of Lancaster and Simi Valley.

Tuesday’s election was the fourth time in nine months Garcia has faced Smith.

Smith is hoping to avenge a loss to Garcia in a May 12 special election prompted by the resignation of Rep. Katie Hill (D-Agua Dulce), following the online release of salacious photos and allegations of an extramarital affair with a staff member.

The seat had long held by Republicans until Hill’s 2018 victory.

In March, Smith and Garcia finished one-two in a special election to fill the remainder of Hill’s term. Because no candidate received a majority, a runoff was needed. On that same ballot, Smith and Garcia also topped essentially the same field of candidates in a separate primary race to fill Hill’s seat for the next two years.

In May, Smith and Garcia squared off in the runoff of the March special election to complete Hill’s original term, and Garcia won and was sworn into Congress.

The winner in the current race will take over the seat for the next two years.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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