Trump, GOP Accuse Dems of Trying To ‘Rig’ California Special Congressional Election

President Donald Trump and the head of the National Republican Congressional Committee are accusing Democrats of trying to steal the special election to fill California’s 25th Congressional District vacancy, which is slated for Tuesday.

“Dems are trying to steal the Mike Garcia Congressional Race in California. Republicans, get out and VOTE for your terrific candidate, ASAP!” Trump tweeted on the eve of the election.

The president further noted in a Saturday tweet, “Governor [Gavin Newsom] of California won’t let restaurants, beaches and stores open, but he installs a voting booth system in a highly Democrat area (supposed to be mail in ballots only) because our great candidate, [Mike Garcia], is winning by a lot. CA25 Rigged Election!”

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Trump gave Garcia, who graduated near the top of his class at the Naval Academy, his “complete & total endorsement” that same day via Twitter.

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Garcia, a former Navy fighter pilot and combat veteran, is running against Democratic state Assemblywoman Christy Smith to fill the 25th Congressional District seat vacated by former Rep. Katie Hill following a “throuple” ethics scandal last October.

Hill had unseated incumbent Rep. Stephen Knight during the 2018 midterms, which saw the GOP’s congressional delegation in the Golden State drop in half from 14 to seven. Prior to 2018, the 25th Congressional District had been in Republican hands since 1993.

The district includes parts of northern Los Angeles and Ventura counties, with the communities of Santa Clarita, Lancaster and Simi Valley (home of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library) the most prominent.

NRCC Chairman Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota told Fox News on Monday that Democrats are trying to rig the election by opening a new in-person polling place in Lancaster over the weekend, which he described as the “second most Democrat area of the district.”

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“Gov. Newsom announced an all-mail balloting process on March 20,” he said. “A ballot was mailed to every registered voter in the district.”

“There also is a stay-at-home order in place to protect people so you don’t come into a precinct and expose yourself or other ones to the virus,” Emmer continued.

“Now, Friday at 5:00, because Mike Garcia, the Republican, is leading on the early returns — he’s got about 11,000 more votes as of Friday — Friday night at 5:00 they announced they’re opening an in-person voting station in a Democrat-concentrated area of the district.”

“By the way, it came after the Los Angeles Democrat party chair asked for it,” the NRCC chairman added.

Politico reported, “Of more than 118,000 returned ballots counted as of Friday, 44 percent are from registered Republicans, and just 36 percent are from Democrats, according to Paul Mitchell, the vice president of Political Data Inc., a bipartisan company that analyzes voter data.”

The Los Angeles County Democratic Party responded to the NRCC charge of rigging the election, tweeting, “We’re sorry the [NRCC] & [Mike Garcia] don’t believe voters, especially voters of color, in Lancaster should have adequate access to voting centers in their city to vote. We & [Christy Smith] believe everyone should be able to vote safely in their communities.”

Emmer dismissed the attack, saying, “the idea that people of color, that certain demographics, don’t have a mailbox … is outrageous.”

In 2016, then-Gov. Jerry Brown signed a ballot-harvesting provision into law in California, allowing third parties to collect ballots from voters in the state and drop them off at polling locations.

The change in law is credited with helping Democrats flip long-held GOP seats in Orange County in 2018.

The winner of the 25th Congressional District’s special election will fill out the remainder of Hill’s term, which runs until the end of the year.

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