MICHAEL R. BLOOD
AP Political Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mike Garcia grew up a single-minded kid from Southern California: He just wanted to fly fighter jets. His decision to enter national politics wouldn't come until decades later, after he had seen one California election too many.
A career as a Navy aviator would lead to a decade in the defense industry. But it was the 2018 elections that prompted the Republican to enter public life, as his home state moved deeper into Democratic-dominated government that he faults for job-crushing regulation and climbing taxes.
"I don't want my country to turn into what my state has become," says Garcia, who claimed a vacant U.S. House seat Tuesday north of Los Angeles.
The political newcomer's win over Democrat Christy Smith marked the first t