WALNUT CREEK – Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi today comfortably won Northern California’s 10th Congressional District special election. With 29 percent reporting, Garamendi currently holds an 18-point lead.
“Today, the voters have spoken; they still have hope and still want change,” Garamendi told a crowd of hundreds of enthusiastic supporters. “I will hit the ground running in Congress and look forward to casting a vote for comprehensive health care reform that includes the public option, helping to enact President Obama’s vision for America.”
Added Garamendi, “We stayed true to ourselves throughout this campaign, articulating a vision for the district and America that is bold and necessary. President Obama’s federal stimulus package helped save us from the brink of economic ruin, but our work is not done. At this moment of crisis in America, we need leadership that will create green jobs and take on the powerful interests delaying reform. More than three decades in public service have prepared me for this moment, and you better believe I didn’t run for this seat to be a backbencher.”
Secretary of State Debra Bowen will likely make an informal certification in the election by tomorrow. Garamendi has been alerted by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to prepare to be sworn in as early as Thursday. Congressman-elect Garamendi’s congressional transition office tomorrow will advise media of the logistics, time and place of Garamendi’s swearing in ceremony.
Should the Speaker confirm his swearing in on Thursday, Lieutenant Governor Garamendi intends to resign his seat Thursday morning.
A former state legislator, Insurance Commissioner, and Deputy Interior Secretary under President Bill Clinton, Lieutenant Governor Garamendi has been a fixture in California for more than three decades. In the early 1990s, Insurance Commissioner Garamendi authored a universal health care plan that President Clinton used as a model for his health care reform package. As a state legislator, Garamendi authored one of the first alternative energy tax credits in U.S. history.
California’s 10th Congressional District includes parts of Contra Costa, Solano, Alameda, and Sacramento counties. The seat was made available when former Rep. Ellen Tauscher was appointed by President Obama to be Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs.