Lt. Gov. John Garamendi (D., Walnut Grove) planned to fly to Washington, D.C., this morning after winning the race for the 10th Congressional District. He led with 53 percent of the vote to Republican David Harmer's 43 percent.
Jeremy Cloward of the Green Party, Mary C. McIlroy of the Peace and Freedom Party, and Jerry Denham of the American Independent Party combined received about 4 percent of the vote.
Garamendi said he was "very, very excited" about his victory in the special general election for the congressional seat vacated by Democrat Ellen Tauscher, who was nominated in March for a State Department position that she accepted in June. Garamendi will serve the rest of Tauscher's term, which ends in January 2011.
Garamendi said he's "excited about the reality of going back to Washington and working on issues," particularly health care. A vote on a health care reform bill in Congress could take place as soon as this weekend, he said.
He said he had talked to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., San Francisco) about being sworn in as soon as Thursday so he can participate in that vote.
The 10th Congressional District includes much of Contra Costa County, as well as parts of Alameda, Solano and Sacramento counties. Garamendi had a built-in advantage heading into the election in the heavily Democratic district. In September's primary election, the six Democratic candidates received a total of 69,130 votes, compared to 37,040 for the six Republican candidates.
Turnout for this race was "a little higher than expected" in Contra Costa County, which makes up nearly 69 percent of the district, according to County Clerk Steve Weir.
Weir said turnout in Contra Costa County should be just under 40 percent of total registered voters, higher than the 32 percent that voted in the special primary election Sept. 1.
Pending an informal certification of the election by Secretary of State Debra Bowen on Wednesday, and the confirmation of his swearing in on Thursday, Garamendi said he intends to resign his seat as lieutenant governor Thursday morning. Gov. Schwarzenegger will appoint someone to fill it.
Garamendi has served as a state legislator, state insurance commissioner, and Deputy Secretary of the Interior under President Clinton.
The four counties reported the results for Congressional District 10 as follows:
John Garamendi (Dem) – 50,724 votes, 54.54 percent
David Harmer (Rep) – 38,210 votes, 41.09 percent
Jeremy Cloward (Grn) – 1,796 votes, 1.93 percent
Mary C. McIlroy (PFR) – 1,130 votes, 1.22 percent
Jerome Denham (AIP) – 890 votes, 0.96 percent
Write-ins – 245 votes, 0.26 percent
David Harmer (Rep) – 7,276 votes, 51.71 percent
John Garamendi (Dem) – 6,281 votes, 44.64 percent
Jeremy Cloward (Grn) – 174 votes, 1.24 percent
Jerome Denham (AIP) – 134 votes, 0.95 percent
Mary C. McIlroy (PFR) – 124 votes, 0.88 percent
Writeins – 81 votes, 0.58 percent
John Garamendi (Dem) – 230 votes, 47.72 percent
David Harmer (Rep) – 219 votes, 45.44 percent
Jerome Denham (AIP) – 12 votes, 2.49 percent
Jeremy Cloward (Grn) – 9 votes, 1.87 percent
Mary C. McIlroy (PFR) – 8 votes, 1.66 percent
Write-ins – 4 votes, 0.83 percent
John Garamendi (Dem) – 9,076 votes, 50.46 percent
David Harmer (Rep) – 7,736 votes, 43.01 percent
Mary C. McIlroy (PFR) – 410 votes, 2.28 percent
Jeremy Cloward (Grn) – 335 votes, 1.86 percent
Jerome Denham (AIP) – 399 votes, 2.22 percent
Write-ins – 31 votes, 0.17 percent
In Walnut Creek, Measure I, the Broadway Plaza Addition Initiative, that would allow a new two-story retail anchor building such as a Neiman Marcus store, passed with 71 percent of the vote.
San Ramon voted to keep its two councilman who were up for re-election Tuesday – Dave Hudson and Jim Livingstone, who won with 38 percent and 32 percent of the vote, respectively. Challenger Jim Brady followed with 18 percent, while Doug Burr received 11 percent.