San Ramon Republican David Harmer secures 10th Congressional District primary win

Lt. Gov. Garamendi tops Assemblywoman Buchanan for Democratic slot with 26% of votes

Voters gave one local Republican politician the green light in the run to fill the vacant seat of former 10th District U.S. Rep. Ellen Tauscher, but the red light to another as Lt. Gov. John Garamendi takes the Democratic Party lead.

Tuesday's special primary election saw San Ramon Republican David Harmer push through a decisive victory while freshman Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, an Alamo Democrat, fell to the wide name recognition and experience of Lt. Gov. John Garamendi.

Garamendi jumped out to a slight lead over nearest challenger Mark DeSaulnier and kept the lead all of the way to the end, securing 26.15 percent of the vote, compared to DeSaulnier's 17.5 percent. Joan Buchanan, whose 15th Assembly District includes part of Pleasanton, came in third with 12 percent.

"I want to thank our hard working team of volunteers," Garamendi said in a message posted on his Web site. "You spent countless hours knocking on doors, making phone calls and ensuring your presence at events throughout the district. Success would not have been possible without all of you and you have my deepest gratitude."

"It's been a hard fought campaign and now that the primary is over, we must unite as Democrats," he added.

Poll watchers throughout the 10th District were put on hold Tuesday as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger issued an order stating that crews fighting the Southern California wildfires be given an opportunity to vote. As a result of keeping those polls open, vote tallies could not be announced until after 10 p.m.

However, due to the low voter turnout, estimated to be 29.9 percent in Contra Costa County, the clerks in the four counties that comprise District 10 were able to get the ballots counted and have final figures announced by 11 p.m.

On the Republican side, David Harmer, a San Ramon attorney, garnered the lion's share of the GOP votes, with 20.46 percent of the vote. Although far ahead of the pack, he was followed by Chris Bunch with 12 percent, Gary Clift with 3.99 percent and John Toth with 3.22 percent.

Surrounded by supporters and well wishers at a campaign party in Walnut Creek, Harmer said he was pleased with the result but not overly surprised.

"We're confident, I'd say we're even enthused," he laughed. "We've been working for three months on this."

A first time political candidate, Harmer focused on a campaign of fiscal conservancy with the slogan "No More Bailouts" on his campaign literature.

"I have four important reasons for caring about what happens in congress," he said. "My kids. I've taught them to work before they play, to save before they spend, but Congress doesn't do that." He likened the increasing national debt to his daughter graduating from college with medical school loans but no medical degree.

He said that in the months leading up to the Nov. 3 General Election there will be few changes in his campaign. "Our message will be the same and our methods will be the same."

For Democratic candidate and Assemblywoman Buchanan, the mood was weary but still excited at her Walnut Creek headquarters as volunteers and staffers began the process of winding down the campaign. The candidate was unavailable for comment as she and her family had retired for the night.

Three independents on the primary ballot will also move ahead to the General Election. Jeremy Cloward of the Green Party, Jerome Denham of the American Independent party and Mary C. McIlroy of the Peace and Freedom party all ran unopposed and will be placed on the November ballot.

Jeb Bing contributed to this report.

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Like this comment
Posted by bob123
a resident of another community
on Sep 3, 2009 at 9:47 am

Let's get behind this young smart conservative and chase career politicians out for a change! I know Pleasanton is not in his district but for those of us who live in the district ( which the Demo candidate does not!) this is the guy!!

Like this comment
Posted by Guy Regolium
a resident of Danville
on Sep 3, 2009 at 3:22 pm

This article is incomprehensible. Did the 'reporter' finish grade school? Poor grammer, obtuse sentences, no structure. Quick - who won? who lost? I couldn't answer without rereading story.

What is going on with American newspapers. No wonder the internet is gaining so much ground.

Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of San Ramon
on Sep 3, 2009 at 3:48 pm

I work extremely hard for the money I earn and therefore I am extremely caution with how I spend it. I have meet David Harmer and he is the genuine thing. He understands that our government needs to live responsibly within its means like each of us does. Plus, he actually lives in the area he will be representing which is critical if he is going to understand our issues and needs.

Like this comment
Posted by larry
a resident of Civic Square
on Sep 3, 2009 at 10:48 pm


You are obviously a smart guy, not quite in step with the english language. Which leads me to believe that you might not be quite in step with our needs, and our local electeds' ability to deliver on those needs, in our geo area. I certainly hope you will not be romanticized by this one candidate, and that you will seek out and learn what each and every candidate has to offer. You may very well change your mind.

Like this comment
Posted by Pablo
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 4, 2009 at 8:17 am

I have never even heard of the guy but will vote for him if the alternative is Garamendi.

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

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