While flying jets was my childhood dream, my passion in adulthood has been real estate. In real estate, if you do things correctly, you know you’ve made money at the time of the purchase. I love working with the professionals in the business, from real estate agents to mortgage brokers to insurance agents, because they know the value of hard work, and they know that nothing good comes for free. You need to hustle to be successful in the real estate world.

In my real estate dealings, I have focused on buying lower value properties that needed repair, fixing them up, renting them out, and then selling the property after a few years. In all cases, managing the budget and the spending plan was absolutely critical. Over the last 15 years, I’ve provided lower income families with quality homes at or below fair market rent. Throughout this period, I made money on every deal before, during, and after the recession. All said and done, I have owned 20 investment units, and I have enjoyed the relationships with my tenants and being able to provide them with quality housing at an affordable price.

In addition to my experience owning a small business, I had the opportunity to become well acquainted with the aerospace and defense industry in Southern California in my role at Raytheon from 2009 until I left prior to taking office. I learned the intricacies of the Presidential and Congressional budget drills that lead up to the signing of the National Defense Authorization Act, the annual bill that ultimately funds the military through Congress, and I further advanced my awareness of all national security issues domestically and abroad. Most importantly, I saw first-hand where our DoD acquisition process is broken, where there are significant inefficiencies, and where there is room for improvement. I have also worked classified technology deals with our allies in the Middle East, North America, Europe and Asia, which has given me a wealth of experience in the geo-politics of these regions.

Mike Garcia standing in front of a jet being filmed by a phone.

As a result of my time at Raytheon, I have become intimately aware of the state of our own military forces. I know the crippling effects of Obama’s Budget Control Act and Sequestration, and I know that as a nation, we are lagging behind China and Russia in technology and modernization efforts. These are serious handicaps we need to overcome, and it is absolutely critical that we provide a fully-funded budget to make sure our service members have the resources they need to carry out their mission.

I led large and medium teams to massive competitive victories, but most importantly, I learned how to translate my leadership experience from the military to the civilian world. I’ve learned how to inspire people from all walks of life, and I’ve advocated for all of my employees who have worked hard and delivered results, regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation. In the end, we are all Americans doing the right thing for the right reasons!

I have been in the trenches in all levels of business for nearly two decades, through the Great Recession and Sequestration. I know the value of hard work and the importance of paying attention to financial realities. More importantly, I know how hard it is to make a living and support a family in California. I am the son of an immigrant, and through hard work and sacrifice, I have had a dream career in the military and a variety of opportunities in the business world. The United States is the only place in the world where stories like mine happen on a regular basis, and I am committed to working to keep it that way!