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2010 is not so far off…

… and it’s never to early to bank some cold, hard campaign cash, and so Lt. Gov. John Garamendi is about to shake the Silicon Valley money tree.

Carl Guardino, president and CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group — the main lobbying group for the area’s high-tech businesses — will host a 90-minute fundraising reception for Garamendi Oct. 23 at his Los Gatos home: $500 per person, $900 per couple, $2,500 to be a co-host.

The money goes to Garamendi 2010, his campaign committee… but his campaign for what? Well, although this is his first term in the number-two spot and he could seek another, he’s made no secret of the fact that he’d like to occupy the horseshoe. If you look at Garamendi 2010’s paperwork, it’s non-committal: in the space marked “office sought or held,” he specifies that he holds the lieutenant governor’s office – but that doesn’t mean he’s committed to seeking it again. Garamendi 2010 had about $125,000 in the bank at mid-year, and looks to have received at least about $23,000 in major contributions (each of $5,000 or more) in the third quarter.

Nothing nefarious here. But as Garamendi and other rumored possible Democratic contenders — Jerry Brown, Bill Lockyer, Jack O’Connell, Gavin Newsom and Antonio Villaraigosa, among them — gear up their fundraising and try to lock down early support, it’s interesting to see who the high-tech hoi polloi gathers to fete.

Others co-hosting the fundraiser include Seagate Technology CEO Bill Watkins; Silicon Valley Bank vice chairman Harry Kellogg; solar-power executives Tom and Darlene McCalmont; attorney James McManis; Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone; venture capitalist John Freidenrich; genetic programming pioneer and would-be Electoral College reformer John Koza; former Novellus president Sass Somekh; Catapult Strategies president John Neece; real estate investment banker and state stem-cell initiative campaign chairman Robert Klein; energy consultant and former U.S. Deputy Energy Secretary T.J. Glauthier; Construction Navigator CEO Rani Yadav-Ranjan; and tech business consultants Arthur and Marianna Keller, among others.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.