Garamendi Cruises in Race to Succeed Tauscher

Posted November 4, 2009 at 12:18am

While most eyes were focused on Tuesday’s big-ticket elections on the East Coast, a House race in California quietly went about its business with Lt. Gov. John Garamendi (D) winning the 10th district special election.

With more than a quarter of the precincts reporting, Garamendi was ahead by 16 points over Republican David Harmer. He had 56 percent of the vote compared with 40 percent for Harmer, an attorney.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) released a statement congratulating Garamendi and attorney Bill Owens, the winner of Tuesday’s other special election in New York’s 23rd district.

“In Congress, Bill Owens and John Garamendi will be champions for the middle class, strong advocates for our troops and veterans, and committed fighters for building a clean energy future,— Pelosi said. “I look forward to welcoming Congressmen-elect Owens and Garamendi to the Congress this week and working with them and my colleagues to reform health insurance and continue America’s economic recovery.—

Unlike the New York race, which was hotly contested by both parties, the race in California received little attention and was not targeted by the GOP. Democrats have a voter registration edge of 47 percent to 28 percent in the district, which is along the eastern edge of the San Francisco Bay area.

Garamendi will succeed former Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.), who took a State Department job in the Obama administration. Garamendi, a former state lawmaker and insurance commissioner, has been in politics for 35 years, including serving as deputy secretary of the Interior in the Clinton administration.