WASHINGTON – The state of California officially gained a new congressional leader with newly elected 25th District Congressman Mike Garcia’s swearing in ceremony in Washington on Tuesday.
“Extremely proud,” Garcia said. “A great day for America, a great day for this campaign. My family is here and I could not be more happy about the outcome of the election, obviously.”
Garcia spent the day like any other freshman, taking tours and meeting his new colleagues, but unlike other new congressmen, he did so amid a pandemic.
“Very humbled to have, despite the shutdown, several members from my side of the aisle there representing various states across the nation,” Garcia said. “Fantastic to see the chambers and be on the floor and be able to speak. A huge honor and very humbling and a fantastic experience.”
Garcia’s not new to the nation’s capitol, working with his aerospace and defense business, briefing the Pentagon about their new technologies, but still, he said this is an experience like no other.
“Very familiar with Washington DC,” Garcia said. “This is obviously very different from any prior experiences as now a citizen legislator, someone serving in Congress and hopefully moving the ball forward and helping us through this COVID-19; it’s a huge honor.”
The former Navy fighter pilot said his legislative priorities are to combat the coronavirus, answer the backlog of constituent concerns, and get ready for fire season. Garcia’s victory takes back the district from Democrats after the former Representative Katie Hill flipped the 27-year GOP stronghold in the 2018 November elections.
“What I’m hoping to remember most is the successes we have here in the next few months,” Garcia said. “Bringing dignity and honor back to this particular office after being in the news for the wrong reasons at the national level. The 25th District of California deserves someone to lead with pride, with honor, but also someone with execution and resolve so really looking forward to helping the constituents with the services that they need from the federal government especially through this COVID-19.”
Republicans hope Garcia can bring some momentum to the uphill battle for the chamber’s majority this fall. Garcia said he’s anxious to get to work since his district has been without a representative since October. He will serve the rest of Hill’s term for the next six months before facing off with his Democratic opponent, Christy Smith again in November for a full two year term.