Garamendi headed for Washington

Neiman Marcus headed for Walnut Creek

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:

Contra Costa

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.

--Bay City News Service contributed to this story.


Like this comment
Posted by Alamo Ron
a resident of Alamo
on Nov 4, 2009 at 7:32 am

Once again, the clueless have elected the mindless. See how you feel when you are penniless because of it.

Like this comment
Posted by Jon
a resident of Danville
on Nov 4, 2009 at 8:01 am

A tax and spend career politician. It’s amazing to me that people can elect someone to represent them that’s never had a real job. Hang onto you wallets because they’re coming for your hard earned money.

Like this comment
Posted by Eagle
a resident of Danville
on Nov 4, 2009 at 8:55 am

Voting for congressional candidates in this state, where electorate districts are so blatantly carved out to favor one party over another, is meaningless. Our electorate has become so politically biassed and polarized that issues are no longer driving the votes; majority of the votes are cast based on blind party affiliation. The way the 10th congressional district (as well as other districts) has been carved out- to heavily favor Democrtats- voting for a congressional representative is as meaningless as are rigged elections in third world countries. This is a sorry mess we've allowed ourselves to get into!

Like this comment
Posted by Julia
a resident of Alamo
on Nov 4, 2009 at 9:04 am

Alamo Ron and Jon have is so right. Garamendi is the most self serving arrogant person I know, oh yes, I know this guy well. It all he does is milk the system, but I guess that's what some of you like.

I hope Arnold does his job and not listen to his law breaking wife.

We the people can only blame Garamendi voters are so clueless, but the problem is, you are dragging us down with you. Some day soon (hopefully) you will wake up and realize you're just a bunch of dreamers that are creating nightmares for the rest of us. I hope Arnold comes through.

Like this comment
Posted by Reader
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Nov 4, 2009 at 9:18 am

Wow,I can only wrap up this forum with two words, "sore" and "losers"

How about making your ideas heard instead of defaming the victor. I would advise "love it or leave it" (the district) but that's a tactic I have heard to often. So I guess I would say contact Garamendi and let him know your ideas/concerns so he has an understanding of the people in the district. are like a bunch of 10 year olds, surely you can't be high functioning respectable adults who reside in such a wealthy educated community???

Garamendi won this race fair and square. Harmer had nothing to offer the people or this country.

Like this comment
Posted by Lee
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Nov 4, 2009 at 10:22 am

How sweet it is. We get another rep for us in Washington, DC and the GOPers wasted time on money on another reject.

Like this comment
Posted by Roz Rogoff
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 4, 2009 at 12:15 pm

Let's look at the positive side of this. At least Garamendi will be leaving California and not potentially running for Governor next year. Whew!

Roz, San Ramon Observer

Like this comment
Posted by Just so you know
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Nov 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm

Just so you know is a registered user.

Perhaps Mr. Harmer will learn to be more forthcoming the next time he runs for national office. Twice his campaign called my house. Twice I asked for his views on DADT and DOMA. Twice I was told that voters were not interested in that issue. Since I'm a voter and I was asking that means at least one voter was interested. I will never support a candidate who declines to reveal his/her views on an issue.

Like this comment
Posted by Shelby
a resident of Alamo
on Nov 4, 2009 at 10:39 pm

It never ceases to amaze me how people "vote for change" by voting for incumbents and lifetime politicians. The definition of lunacy is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.

For those that STILL blame Republicans for the CONTINUING economic mess, which has gotten worse not better, remember who has held the Federal checkbook and legislative power for the last 3 years. Pelosi and Reid were/are no better than Bush, period.

I live in the 10th district and would never vote for Garamendi, "based on his record". He continues to believe we have a "revenue" problem, not a "spending" problem in California. How out of touch does someone have to be to NOT get votes for simply listing themselves as a Democrat?

Like this comment
Posted by Jim
a resident of Danville
on Nov 5, 2009 at 1:54 pm

Although a Democrat, I'm not entirely unsympathetic to the frustration expressed by some of my Republican neighbors above. Mr. G is hardly a vote for change of any kind. The thing to remember is, gerrymandering aside, voters in this neck of the woods do not, in my observation, have an ideological predisposition toward either party on par with many other parts of the state and country. The biggest issue, and quickest (although by no means quick) solution to their frustration, is to repair the badly damaged Republican brand. But to do so means taking their party back from the nuts, windbags and Southerners. Good luck.

Like this comment
Posted by Fred
a resident of Blackhawk
on Nov 5, 2009 at 3:24 pm

Lt. Gov. John Garamendi's (D-Walnut Grove) winning race for the 10th Congressional District is the best thing that could have happened. He is now in Washington ready for the REAL action. There is just too much CHANGE going on around here to be left behind and Garamendi working with Pelosi (D., San Francisco) and President Obama will work out just fine. Relax folks, fasten your seat belts, sit back and enjoy the ride. The Markets and GOLD are moving UP, soon the country will follow.

Like this comment
Posted by Tony
a resident of Diablo
on Nov 6, 2009 at 8:11 am

Please pardon my "Republican" ignorance and enlighten me, what are DODT and DOMA? They sound like some experimental drugs or pesticides. Also, to "Reader", what is the origin of that name? You're the first person I've known with that handle.

Like this comment
Posted by Chet
a resident of Danville
on Nov 6, 2009 at 8:38 am

John Garamendi has had a long and distinguished career in public service, most recently as lieutenant governor of California, where he has been a powerful advocate for families and hard-working Californians, improving higher education, health care, and the environment. Our family is pleased and honored that John is now our Rep in Washington, DC.

Like this comment
Posted by Rick Pshaw
a resident of Danville
on Nov 6, 2009 at 9:16 am

Dear Fred,

Don't you realize that when gold moves up, it's a bad thing! (I wish they taught fundamental economics in high school instead of feel-good liberal mush.)

When gold moves up, the dollar moves down. That means the dollar becomes worth less and it will take more dollars to buy the same product or service. This is inflation, another way for government to steal your money.


Like this comment
Posted by just so you know
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Nov 6, 2009 at 11:50 am


DADT - Don't Ask, Don't Tell - This issue is very likely to come up for a vote so I wanted to know how Harmer would vote on it.

DOMA - Federal Defense of Marriage Act - This issue is likely to be reviewed soon, too, and is a States' Rights issue. The Feds have always looked to the states to define family status except in the case of DOMA which provides a Federal government definition. Defining a 'family' should be left to each state and the Federal government should accept how each state has decided to define a 'family'. The Republicans USED to be the party of states' rights, but after the religious conservatives hijacked the party, Republicans began favoring big Federal government dictating how you should live and die (e.g., Terri Schiavo in Florida), rather than respecting the views of each state.

All valid information that a real, viable candidate should be willing to provide. His refusal to provide such information to a registered voter in his district seemed shady. I wanted to know if I voted for him was I getting another loudmouth like Michele Bachman and Salin Palin or would I be getting a moderate like Senator Snowe. I asked; his staff wouldn't tell, so I passed on him.

Like this comment
Posted by Reader
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Nov 6, 2009 at 12:32 pm

Jim and Tony

Your remarks is right on. I tend to be a fiscally conservative individual and have grave concerns about not only our federal and state spending but also how much people spend in their own personal lives. However, since 2001 and as a result of the "War on Terror" somehow the religious right has been able to dictate our personal lives while at the same time advocate for massive spending on wars in the middle east, neither of which are traditional republican values.

Until the "real" republicans take back their party, I will stand along side Garamendi and Barack Obama who have a researched, detailed plan of action for spending and let people live out their personal lives instead advocating for law and action based on ideological principles and ethnic/lifestyle profiling.

To all of you smart educated Republicans who care deeply about our country and our children, I urge you to take back the party of fiscal conservatism and let that value drive the future of the party; not gay marriage, abortion, DOMA, or DADT.

ps I read.

Like this comment
Posted by Fred
a resident of Blackhawk
on Nov 6, 2009 at 1:11 pm

Rick, your short lesson in basic economics is very well known. Eight years ago (during Republican George W. Bush's Presidency,) goldbug James Dines and other individuals guiding the smart money warned that the Fed had the dollar printing presses rolling at full speed, and that central banks worldwide would not be able to sell enough GOLD to stop the current GOLD rise. The world now knows what happened with the bankers misuse of some of those excess dollars and the US Housing Market. To the current holders of GOLD and stocks, things are looking pretty good.

Don't worry, with major institutions buying stocks (not wanting to hold too many falling US dollars), US companies have an abundance of cash. Soon with further guidance from Nancy and the Obama Administration jobs should materialize pushing US growth forward allowing the Fed to deal with the issue of the falling US dollar and interest rates.
Get it?

Like this comment
Posted by Republican
a resident of Danville
on Nov 6, 2009 at 1:37 pm

To Reader: I agree that some extremist in our Republican party have hurt our party, by going off on tangent, non-priority issues. But a true Republican is not only concerned about taxes, spending, and financial issues. A true Republican would also oppose attacks on the traditional definition of marriage. A true Republican would never vote for socialized medicine and Obama's health plan. If your only issue is taxes and finances, then you are really just a banker, not a Republican. And if you "stand with Obama", you are not a very smart banker.

Like this comment
Posted by Reader
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Nov 6, 2009 at 2:11 pm

I guess that is where we differ. I don't believe that the Healthcare Pacakage that is slowly moving across the Congress floor is considered to be socialized medicine. That is just conservative propaganda. I see it as a fix to a browken system in which the greedy insurance companies are exploiting and profiting off sick people and it requires the government to provide some social justice when the free market fails, and yes, the free market does fail from time to time.

I urge you to consider other sources of information before labeling soemthing "socialized." I am sure if you lived in a "socialized" country, you may find that what Healthcare reformers are trying to do is quite different. Fox News is a biased source of information hell bent on slandering anyone who wants to make change.

I appreciate your comment. Perhaps you can urge your Republican leaders to step away from social/religous issues and get back to fiscal tradition. And you can start by tellling them to end this war in Iraq. Then you should ask them how to pay the enormous bill (way way way bigger than any Healthcare Reform Package) taht has been racked up by it. If they can give you a solid answer that includes not raising taxes, they are lying to you.

The Republican Party has racked up more federal debt in the past 8 years than any other republican administration. Why? For War. Republicans were the first to intervene in the private health of a person, Terry Schiavo. How much did we pay our President to intervene in that case? This whole mess is a result of the republican party focusing on social issues in a time of war instead of figuring out how to pay for the big expenses that they decided to add to the budget. Hence, we ALL have to pay for it now

Like this comment
Posted by Republican
a resident of Danville
on Nov 6, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Reader: I think the only thing we agree on is I support ending the war in Iraq. I also think a large percentage of people who do not have health insurance could afford Kaiser(where I have been a satisfied member for over 15 years)but choose not to purchase health insurance. Kaiser, although obviously not perfect, works, and provides basic, affordable health care. Obama's plan would lead to many small employers dropping Kaiser, and ultimately those of us who live within our means and were satisfied with our health plan, would get stuck in the government run program, that would resemble the DMV, and would have non-medical doctor "administrators" running the program. I also believe that religion, and teaching our children about morals, prayer, and common sense ethics is just as important as teaching our children about finances and taxes. I am glad that the Republican party has the courage to support issues besides finance and taxes.

Like this comment
Posted by Reader
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Nov 6, 2009 at 3:05 pm

2 things we agree on. I love my Kaiser Health Plan. Thanks for the respectful dialogue!

Like this comment
Posted by Rick Pshaw
a resident of Danville
on Nov 6, 2009 at 3:06 pm

Dear Fred,

Getting back to financial issues for a moment, I would appreciate a calibration point from you.

Where does money come from?

Like this comment
Posted by just so you know
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Nov 6, 2009 at 7:27 pm

The Republican party's insistence on ramming its version of values down people's throat cost them a district in NY that they'd held for over 100 years. The Republicans lost a seat in Congress thanks to Sarah Palin and Tim Pawlenty and those of their ilk.

Republicans try to claim all the time that they're just concerned about "marriage". What a joke. In Washington state, Republicans worked very hard to deny same sex couples their rights even though same sex couples were NOT asking for marriage. Thankfully, Washington voters were not swayed by Republican hatred and approved domestic partnerships.

Until the moderates in the Republican party kick out the religious right, the Republican party will always be a minority party. The religious whackos who have hijacked the Republican party know that they can not win elections which is why said whackos ride the coattails of the Republican party rather than forming their own party.

When people are asking for rights by acknowledging that marriage is for heterosexuals and those people offer to utilize a different system (domestic partnerships) and you still oppose them then you're a mean spirited hateful individual.

Like this comment
Posted by Fred
a resident of Blackhawk
on Nov 6, 2009 at 11:45 pm

Rick, you ask, "Where does money come from?" I will now explain further.

From my previous post I clearly stated; Don't worry, with major institutions (with sidelined trillions waiting to be put to work and not wanting to hold too many falling dollars) buy stocks from US companies which now have an abundance of cash.

Soon, with further guidance from Speaker Pelosi, newly elected House Representative Garamendi and the Obama Administration issuing Corporate Tax Breaks which will provide corporations with incentives for future job creation, jobs in the US should materialize pushing US growth forward. The US Dollar will stabilize as the Fed is forced to raise interest rates to check inflation.
Again Rick, sit back, enjoy the ride, if you able buy some GOLD and above all, don't worry.

Like this comment
Posted by Rick Pshaw
a resident of Danville
on Nov 7, 2009 at 10:18 pm

Thanks Fred,

Nothing could be clearer...

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