Republican Mike Garcia has won the congressional seat formerly held by Katie Hill, as Democratic California Assemblywoman Christy Smith conceded the election Wednesday.

Because of the pandemic, many of the votes in the special election were mailed in, and the count was still active on Wednesday morning when Garcia held a 56 percent to 44 percent advantage.

However, Garcia, a former Navy pilot and Raytheon Co. executive, must run again for a full two-year term in November.

“While it's critical that we ensure every vote is counted and recorded, we believe that the current tally shows Mike Garcia is the likely victor in the May 12 special election,” Smith said in a statement. “That said, this is only one step in this process, and I look forward to having a vigorous debate about the issues in the upcoming November 2020 election.”

The 25th District includes the Antelope Valley, parts of Santa Clarita and Simi Valley. Garcia’s victory is the first time Republicans have gained a formerly Democratic district in California since 1998.

Hill won the district from Republican Steve Knight in 2018 but later resigned after allegations of sexual misconduct came to light.

Smith’s 38th Assembly District includes most of the Santa Clarita Valley and parts of Simi Valley and the San Fernando Valley.