The race was called on November 16 with Garcia holding 54% of the vote to Smith’s 46%, despite Democrats having a 12.5% registration advantage in the district. The district comprises Santa Clarita, Palmdale and portions of Lancaster, north of Los Angeles.
The House balance ended up in the hands of a small number of tight races, but the district race in L.A. County tipped the Republicans to the 218 seats needed to secure victory. Garcia won for the first time against Smith in 2020 by only 333 votes.
“It is the honor of my life to continue to serve #CA27 in Congress,” Garcia said in a Twitter post Tuesday. “I ran to fight for California families and protect the American Dream, and I look forward to working hard every day to continue that mission.”
The change in the House majority pushed Nancy Pelosi to step down as speaker of the House after leading House Democrats for two decades. She was the first and only woman to ever hold that position.
“I will not seek reelection to Democratic leadership in the next Congress,” Pelosi said Thursday, speaking in the House. “For me, the hour has come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus that I so deeply respect, and I’m grateful that so many are ready and willing to shoulder this awesome responsibility.”
Pelosi will continue to serve in the House for California’s 12th Congressional District, representing most of San Francisco.
The new House majority ends the Democratic trifecta of the last three years, but Democrats still hold the Senate and the Presidency.
“I really was fearful–look, I’m a Democrat, and I’m not going to pretend like I’m not–I was scared of what would happen to the House under Republican control,” former California Senator Barbara Boxer said at the Warschaw Conference on Practical Politics at USC. “But luckily, if you look at the Democrats who won and the Republicans who won, I think we still have a democracy here.”
“Our campaign got next-to-zero outside resources to fight this battle. In fact, I was fighting the institutional power of my own party from the outset of this race,” her tweet stated. “I decided to take the big political risk to take on Garcia again when he voted not to certify the 2020 election results. But, despite the very close outcome of our 2020 contest, DC wasn’t interested in a rematch. But #CA27 was.”
Despite narrowly winning the House, Republicans underperformed this election cycle, with the expected “red wave” not coming to fruition thanks to an uptick in the number of Gen Z voters. Democrats were able to not only hold onto their Senate majority, but now hold a gubernatorial majority as well. Without the House, however, it will be more difficult for Democrats to pass legislation.
“Personally, it’s a little concerning because I know that the way that we’re going now, I don’t want anything to change and things to become harder to be passed in the House or in the Senate,” according to Brianna Rivas, a junior studying psychology. “So I am a little concerned, but hopefully it doesn’t affect us too much.”
Republicans were able to take back the House by outperforming Trump in over 300 districts, including areas that Biden won in 2020. In New York state, a known Democratic stronghold, Republicans gained four seats.
“It is exciting to see that there is now shared power in government,” sophomore John Belton, a public policy major, said. “I believe it is best when power is split, so the best policy solutions get passed.”
Although Republicans only have control of the House, it remains to be seen how this fact will affect Biden’s agenda.
This story was updated on Dec. 3 due to an error regarding an incorrect date.