San Ramon Republican David Harmer secures primary win | September 4, 2009 | Danville Express | |

Danville Express

Newsfront - September 4, 2009

San Ramon Republican David Harmer secures primary win

Buchanan loses Democratic slot to Garamendi

by Geoff Gillette

Voters gave one local 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.

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.

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 the democrats, the race wasn't quite as cut and dried. Lt. Gov. John Garamendi jumped out to a slight lead over nearest challenger Mark DeSaulnier and kept the lead all of the way to the end.

Garamendi, of Walnut Grove, secured 26.15 percent of the vote, compared to DeSaulnier's 17.5 percent. State Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan came in third with 12 percent.

Shortly after 11 p.m. the mood was weary but still excited at Buchanan's 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.


Posted by Chet, a resident of Danville
on Sep 6, 2009 at 4:10 pm

It is going to take a below zero day in July in August before we send a Republican to represent us in Washington D.C. We need another strong Democrat like we had with Ellen and have from Jerry Mcnerney. We need John Garamendi to fight for us in Washington.

Posted by John, a resident of Danville
on Sep 7, 2009 at 7:38 am

The Problem California as represented by people like Chet is that it has created a one party system for California. The Democratic legislature and their liberal attitudes here have gotten us into this huge hole financially. Chet's answer "keep digging". He also wants this solution for the nation

Posted by Jeb, a resident of Alamo
on Sep 7, 2009 at 9:18 am

When will we get someone to represent the people and not the party.
Then we can say we are on the road to recovery.

Posted by Just so you know, a resident of Walnut Creek
on Sep 8, 2009 at 1:31 am

Views espoused by Harmer's father. These are direct quotes. This is provided for informational purposes only. I'm neither advocating nor opposing these views.

"The homosexual conspiracy began their campaign to promote the acceptability of their perversion by changing the label and the definition. It was just thirty years ago (1973) that the homosexual and lesbian advocates under the guise of being “gay” rather than practitioners of perversion literally stormed into the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association and intimidated that organization into removing homosexuality from its list of mental disorders. Conduct that from the creation of man until the present day that had been categorized as sinful, perverse, and immoral was now to be considered “normal” or an “alternative life style.

In that thirty year period the homosexual and lesbian practitioners have successfully turned the schools, the media, the medical profession, and of all things, in many instances, even the churches, into not just passive acceptance of their perversion but as passionate advocates of it. Now we have a plethora of laws that impose upon most business enterprises the necessity to hire such individuals and further, to assure that they are protected from any communication written or oral that defines such conduct for what it is, a perversion of incredible decadence."

Posted by Hal Bailey, a resident of Alamo
on Sep 8, 2009 at 7:08 am

Dear Dolores,

Is David Harmer's Father running for 10th District Congress Member? and if so, for what party?

Has any relative of John Garamendi declared views in their run for 10th District Congress Member? and if so, could you be fair and offer them equal time?

Also, I was wondering if any of TDW's pseudonyms are running for 10th District Congress Member? It seems very fair for each to declare their candidacy and explain their own platform.


Posted by Just so you know, a resident of Walnut Creek
on Sep 8, 2009 at 12:45 pm

Hal -

I think his father's views are important. He was raised by this man and may share his views. It's worth asking. Some will agree with him and some won't. The people have the right to ask unless you think asking political candidates questions is wrong and that folks should vote simply along party lines?

Posted by Just so you know, a resident of Walnut Creek
on Sep 8, 2009 at 12:46 pm

And, Hal, I can't research all the candidates. Perhaps you could research Garamendi's father rather than leaving ALL the work to me.

Posted by Hal Bailey, a resident of Alamo
on Sep 8, 2009 at 7:02 pm

Dear Dolores,

It is appropriate to note to "Just so you know" that my role in posting is to test your forum and determine terms of use for a new Iron Horse Corridor news service. Clearly, prejudice presented demands the authors to declare their own political positions and allegiance. E-exchanges throughout the corridor suspect "Just so you know" of being the Garamendi campaign and "swift boating" as usual.

I wonder if that is the purpose or is it personal. My father was a product of 1800's and 1900's prejudice and I reacted to the opposite. Thus, David Harmer, as a Republican I shall question, gets my support in expression of women's rights, gay rights, alien rights and much more.

With that said, I hope "Just so you know" will contribute more diversity to the discussion of candidates' positions. To our region and Iron Horse corridor, David and John are strangers we would like to get to know.

Trying to be thoughtful, Dolores,


Posted by Just so you know, a resident of Walnut Creek
on Sep 9, 2009 at 2:24 pm

I'm not with the Garamendi campaign and didn't vote for Garamendi, either. The text I provided can be found on

John Harmer is the Chairman of that organization. On the website I provided, select "reference articles". Under reference articles, select "pornography and the loss of political freedom". If I counted correctly, you will see that I quoted the 10th and 11th paragraphs.

My comments are simply meant to inform.

Just reviewed Mr. Harmer's website at 2:08pm and under the issues section, I do not see any information relevant to DADT or DOMA or any other LGBT issue.

So, again, I offer my comments as information to be taken or ignored. I've never suggested the comments reflected David's views but since I can't find his views on LGBT issues then it's worth asking if his father's views are consistent with his own.

I didn't quote other comments attributed to John that I found interesting since I couldn't personally verify the source. I only provided information that's readily available.

A direct quote from a September 1st Contra Costa Times article (Web Link)

"Harmer has also refused in the primary to disclose his views on social issues, saying voters care more about the economy and jobs than abortion or gay marriage."

Considering that California's economy has been in toilet for quite some time, I wouldn't presume to tell the Prop 8 supporters or opponents that voters care more about the economy than gay marriage.

If you'd like personal commentary, I will say that I don't find it admirable to hide your views from voters. In fact, I find it appalling and insulting to withhold relevant, important, valid information from voters and possible constituents.

As to my political allegiance or views on the topic, I can not find it anywhere in the TERMS OF USE that I'm required to state them prior to posting a comment.