Republican Mike Garcia, a fighter pilot, announced Wednesday he plans to challenge first-term Rep. Katie Hill in California’s 25th Congressional District.
Hill, D-Agua Dulce, unseated incumbent Steve Knight last November, helping Democrats retake the House of Representatives by delivering a series of blows to the GOP in California. The 25th District, which includes Santa Clarita and the Antelope Valley, had been represented by a Republican since 1993.
Although Hill, 31, is described as a moderate by some political analysts, Garcia looked to tie her in with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a self-identified socialist who has garnered a large share of media attention.
“I have been at the edge where bullets fly and lives are lost,” Garcia said. “I believe America is the greatest country in the world. I’ve seen men and women lose their lives defending this country. And I am disgusted that politicians in Washington are voting in lockstep with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to push a socialist agenda that jeopardizes everything we’ve risked blood and treasure to defend.”
In a news release announcing his candidacy, Garcia’s campaign said he is a first-generation American citizen, a resident of Santa Clarita since 1983 and an officer in the Navy who flew more than 30 combat missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“I know how tough these primaries can be. With three Republicans now filed to run and likely more who will jump in, I wish them all luck,” Hill said in a statement. “I am deeply grateful to Mr. Garcia for his service to our nation and thank him and his family for all they have given to keep America safe.”
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