Mike Garcia reacted on “Fox & Friends” on Thursday to becoming the first Republican to flip a Democratic House seat in California in more than two decades saying, “There's an awakening here in California.”
Democrat Christy Smith conceded the special election race for California's 25th Congressional District to Garcia on Wednesday, marking the first time Republicans will retake a Democratic-held congressional seat in the state since 1998.
Garcia, a former Navy combat pilot, had a 12-point edge over Smith, a state assemblywoman, as of late Tuesday night in the contest for the swing-district seat vacated by Katie Hill after her resignation.
“The margin of victory was maybe a little bit bigger than even I expected, but I think it's a resounding win and it's a testimony to the hard work of this great team over the last year,” Garcia said on Thursday, adding that he’s “extremely proud.”
Host Brian Kilmeade asked Garcia, “How much does this have to do, if anything, with the response California has had to the pandemic?”
“It changed the dynamic quite a bit, not being able to campaign,” Garcia said in response. “And we pivoted early on, even before the lockdown orders were made, to virtual events, virtual town halls, and we actually did a very good job of still reaching out to the constituents and still reaching out to the folks talking about the issues, talking about the messaging.”
Garcia said his campaign “did a fantastic job of evolving despite the stay-at-home orders.”
“Especially in a time when small businesses are hurting, and taxpayers are hurting, the message of helping small businesses being pro-growth, being pro-business and lowering taxes was resonating with folks,” he added.
Garcia also pointed out that “every registered voter had a self-addressed, stamped envelope sent to them with a ballot, so accessibility was very high.”
Fox News’ Gregg Re contributed to this report.