Garamendi appears to top field in 10th Congressional District race

With no candidate over 50% in vote, general election likely for Nov. 3

Lt. Gov. John Garamendi appears to have topped a crowded field in a special primary election Tuesday for an open congressional seat in the East and North Bay and has earned his way onto a general election ballot in November, according to complete unofficial election results.

Garamendi, a Democrat, had the highest overall vote totals in the election for California's 10th Congressional District, which includes much of Contra Costa County, as well as parts of Alameda, Solano and Sacramento counties.

The election was scheduled to fill the seat previously held by Democrat Ellen Tauscher, who was nominated in March for a State Department position that she accepted in June.

Because no one got more than 50 percent of the vote, a special general election for the seat will be held Nov. 3, and will feature the top vote-getter from each party. The winner will serve the rest of Tauscher's term, which ends in January 2011.

With all 176 precincts reporting, Garamendi took in 26.15 percent of the overall vote, while Republican David Harmer finished second with 20.58 percent and Democratic state Senator Mark DeSaulnier finishing in third place with 17.55 percent, according to the unofficial results.

State Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan and Iraq War veteran Anthony Woods, both Democrats, rounded out the top five with 12 percent and 8.48 percent, respectively.

Garamendi said he was "very, very pleased, particularly with the work the campaign staff did. We had some very good, solid competitors in this race."

He said the difference in the campaign was that he was "the only candidate that has represented every part of the district," and that "people know my work, and my history."

Harmer, son of former state senator and Lt. Gov. John Harmer, will join Garamendi on the November ballot. Harmer easily defeated his five Republican opponents, who were vastly outspent in the campaign and combined to receive just 13.78 percent of the overall vote.

Jeremy Cloward of the Green Party, Mary C. McIlroy of the Peace and Freedom Party, and Jerry Denham of the American Independent Party combined to only get about 1 percent of the overall vote, but will each also be on the November ballot after running unopposed in the primary.

Garamendi will have a built-in advantage heading into the November election since registered Democrats far outnumber Republicans in the district.

As of Aug. 29, Contra Costa County, which makes up a majority of District 10, has 261,505 registered Democrats compared to 135,773 Republicans.

Nevertheless, Garamendi said he would not be taking any of his opponents lightly in November.

"I approach every campaign as though it's going to be the toughest I've ever had," he said. "We look at this and think we can do this, and we'll run the same very aggressive grassroots campaign as we did this time around."

The reporting of the election results was delayed for two hours Tuesday night because of wildfires throughout California.

Dozens of firefighters in the district have been dispatched to assist agencies in six different counties in the state, according to Contra Costa County Clerk-Recorder Steve Weir.

Polls closed at 8 p.m. within the district, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger issued an executive order Monday to issue provisional ballots that can be used by the command centers in the affected counties so local firefighters could vote at registrars' offices or command centers in the affected counties.

Because of shift changes and other scheduling issues with the firefighters, the California secretary of state's office kept polls open in those areas until 10 p.m. to allow ample time to vote, Weir said.

That delayed announcement of the race's results since "as long as there's voting taking place somewhere, we can't release results," he said.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

We can't do it without you.
Support local journalism.


Like this comment
Posted by Dominic DiBlasio
a resident of Del Prado
on Sep 2, 2009 at 8:16 am

Time for new leadership and representation...Garamendi is a career Sacramento politician and is part of the problem...I say, go for the underdog for a change in CA politics which has been controlled by democrats for years and look where we are at now...I encourage all to vote for the republican....

Like this comment
Posted by Ruth
a resident of Castlewood
on Sep 2, 2009 at 8:29 am


I couldn't have said it any better.

Garamendi is a BIG part of the PROBLEM!

Look at his positions!

He is FOR the socialistic Obamacare which will devastate our quality of healthcare in the US, and result in premature deaths to seniors

He is FOR the largest tax increase in US history of Cap and Trade which is socialism on steroids.

He is against domestic oil exploration, drilling, and refining

His positions are a rubberstamp of Pelosi, McNerney, Obama, and the other socialists.

Do your homework and do the right thing for California and America by voting conservative.

Like this comment
Posted by bob123
a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2009 at 8:42 am

Time to clean house!

Does career Demo politico--did he ever hold a private indutry job/--actually live in this district??

Let's get a clean start with a new face who lives here and can stand for the values that we in this district actually have!!

Like this comment
Posted by Dave
a resident of Del Prado
on Sep 2, 2009 at 9:04 am

Garamendi does not even live in the district. He has a ranch in Moklumne Hill and a place in Sacramento so should not even be eligible. He is just another liberal democrat and based on that should not even be considered based on what they have done to this state. If he gets voted in and we are so stupid to do so we have no reason to complain in the future about california and services. Vote all the libs out now and clean house!!!!!!

Like this comment
Posted by Concerned
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 2, 2009 at 9:37 am

Agree with all the comments. After looking at the salaries ,pensions and retiree medical benefits of the underqualified, underworked and overpaid public sector employees I am sick to my stomach. Get rid of all the liberals and start from ground zero on all aspects of compensation. That is the only way California and its cities and counties can survive.

Like this comment
Posted by Rob
a resident of Livermore
on Sep 2, 2009 at 9:37 am

Apparently, there are lots of "twitchy-knees" in Pleasanton (which is no-longer in District 10, by the way) based on the knee-jerk reactions, so far.

Like this comment
Posted by Who are you people
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 2, 2009 at 9:38 am

Socialistic healthcare? Isn't that Medicare and healthcare for the Federal employees? It works pretty well. I am tired of paying for everyone else's heathcare. The only way to fix it is to reform the system. Would you rather have the private insurance companies deny you coverage without any rules? How about not being able to change jobs because of a health issue that would be considered a "pre-existing condition." Do you think it is okay for an industry to inflate prices by double digits while reaping huge profits and that is okay? They profit by denying treatment. Is this the type of system you seek?

How does healthcare reform cause premature deaths to seniors? Please don't tell you are are caught up on death panels. Or are you a birther too?

How is Cap and Trade a tax increase? Shouldn't we all try to improve the air we breath? Or do you not breath the air? It does not qualify for socialism.

As far as domestic drilling goes the market has a way of working it out. Drilling in pristine wilderness is expensive and oil prices have dropped, making it not cost effective. Unless you believe in government subsidies for oil and gas exploration and drilling...oh no that would be SOCIALISM.

Like this comment
Posted by Terry
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Sep 2, 2009 at 9:56 am

We need to have a Conservative person in Congress. We need to have a balance to add to the debate.

The "career" Democrats have shown what they can do for this Country.

Have we learned our lesson? We need NEW thinking. We need our elected officials to support America.

Like this comment
Posted by Ruth
a resident of Castlewood
on Sep 2, 2009 at 10:05 am

To My Dearest "Who Are You People"...

Either you refuse to do your own homework, or you listen to too much mainstream media. I won't even comment on Obamacare because this has been discussed ad nauseum.

However, regarding Cap and Trade (aka Waxman-Markey), the most in-depth research on this has been done by the Heritage Foundfation. (yes, many libs will now criticize it as being biased. However, given what is at stake, anyone will find fault with ANY organization who attempts to study the ROI of this legislation.)

I'll leave you with a link to many articles on it and you can read it yourself (or choose to remain ignorant and just continue to be governed by your emotions only instead of empirical evidence.)

Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by Stay Cool
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 2, 2009 at 11:15 am

Who Are You People,
Just so you know, I hear you. Don't let these people get under your skin. I think they are in a world if pain. Even if everything they were saying was true, it doesn't warrant the kind of hate and anger towards the current administration, and Democrats (or 'liberals') in general, that you see on these boards. This is simply not the forum for any kind of open discussion or civized debate.

Like this comment
Posted by Juan
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 2, 2009 at 12:40 pm

Stay Cool, or whatever name you are going by today or maybe it is law student, regardless, we have the right to voice our opinions just as you have the right not to be involved in this forum.

Like this comment
Posted by Stay Cool
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 2, 2009 at 12:56 pm

Hi Juan,
As I've said before, this is the only name I use. I don't know why people are so intent on implying that all leftish opinions on these boards are coming from only one person using multiple names. I guess to make it seem like these opinions are misrepresented or illegitimate . That is not true.
Anyway, I didn't say that "you" don't have a right to voice your opinions. So I don't understand the purpose of your comment.

Like this comment
Posted by Mary
a resident of Country Fair
on Sep 2, 2009 at 1:27 pm

Garamendi seems like he has run for about every position in the state including governor a couple of times I believe. Surely we can do better than an extremely liberal democrat in a state which has been wrecked by the democrats. I would like to see a person unattached to either of the parties.

Like this comment
Posted by Lucky Guy
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Sep 2, 2009 at 3:55 pm

I want a new third party-one that will do the right thing for the country rather than the political thing.

Like this comment
Posted by Ken
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 2, 2009 at 7:06 pm

Ration Government, NOT Healthcare!

Like this comment
Posted by Nomo Pimps
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 3, 2009 at 9:01 am

Garamendi is the ultimate political hack, a poster child of why we need to change the system to get rid of career politicians. The guy is running for Congress because he can't get elected as Governor. He doesn't even live in the Distrct. He would be yet another Pelosi pimp. Garamendi, Miller, and McNerney - the thought makes me ill. We seriously need a few Republicans in the Bay Area Congressional delegation.

Like this comment
Posted by Arroyo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 3, 2009 at 5:53 pm

If you look at the outline of the District, it is a prime example of what is wrong with Sacramento. If I could vote, it would be for David Harmer -- I'm sick of Garamendi and his ilk in Sacramento.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Don't be the last to know

Get the latest headlines sent straight to your inbox every day.

Talking sports and life with Tommy Dyer
By Tim Hunt | 1 comment | 1,430 views