Republican Wins House Seat in California Special Election
LOS ANGELES — Mike Garcia, a former military pilot and newcomer to Republican electoral politics, has defeated his Democratic opponent in a special election to fill a House seat in Southern California.
The victory is the first time the G.O.P. has flipped a Democratic held seat in California since 1998 and is a significant win in an election that was primarily conducted by mail and reflected the country’s bitter partisan mood.
Mr. Garcia and Christy Smith, a Democratic member of the State Assembly, competed to replace former Representative Katie Hill, who resigned last year after admitting to an affair with a campaign staff member. The two candidates will meet again in November, when both are planning to run for a full term.
Though election officials had not yet completed the count,…