Coronavirus Pandemic Complicates California Election

Democrats will try to hold on to a hotly contested congressional seat in California on Tuesday in a special election that could provide clues about which party Americans believe can better handle the coronavirus epidemic and how they think President Donald Trump is dealing with it, Reuters reported.

Republicans hope to recapture a seat north of Los Angeles that became vacant after Democrat Katie Hill resigned following a scandal in which intimate photos were published of her online and she faced accusations of sexual relations with her staffers.

The race is widely considered a toss-up between 44-year-old Mike Garcia, a Republican and former Navy fighter pilot who flew combat missions in Iraq, and 50-year-old Democratic state legislator Christy Smith.

Hill was the first Democrat to represent the district in 25 years when she was elected in 2018.

Garcia, a political newcomer, has described her tenure as “an embarrassment.”

The election is complicated by the fact that many voters are expected to mail in their ballots, to avoid possible coronavirus exposure at the polls.

A victory by Garcia would not threaten Democrats’ control of the House of Representatives, but would be a boost for Republicans, who have worried whether the staggering public health and economic cost of the coronavirus pandemic will hurt their standard-bearer Trump’s re-election chances in November.

California, the country’s most-populous state, is a stronghold for Democrats, who hold 45 of its 53 congressional seats.

The district has more registered Democrats than Republicans, but so far more Republicans have been sending in their ballots, according to California-based Political Data Inc.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.