Garamendi all but enters CD10 race

Lt. Gov. John Garamendi

Democratic Lt. Gov. John Garamendi all but declared his candidacy tonight for the congressional seat held by outgoing Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo.

Garamendi delivered a short but eloquent speech to several dozen members of the Contra Costa Democratic Central Committee in what turned out to be an impromptu candidates forum along with appearances by two of his potential challengers.

“A lot of you have told me that this congressional district is where I should run, that I have the experience and the background to have an impact in Washington, D.C.,” Garamendi said. “So, we’re considering it. I’d like you to seriously consider it, too.” (Update: 9:45 p.m. After the meeting, a Garamendi aide said the lt. governor had not yet made a final decision.)

Garamendi, who lives in Walnut Grove, made no mention of his gubernatorial campaign during the roughly 20 minutes he spoke.

Instead, he focused on federal issues such as the government bailout, his opposition to offshore oil drilling, his support for a single-payer healthcare system and what he called the global climate change crisis.

“Those changes are happening in Congress,” Garamendi said. “There is tremendous potential for change.”

Garamendi spoke following short speeches by declared congressional candidate and state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, and Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo, , who said she expects to make a decision in the next week.

But Garamendi’s presence at the monthly meeting of the county’s Democrats was the chief source of the buzz in the room.

Many of the county’s top Democrats were already struggling with a difficult choice between DeSaulnier and Buchanan. They have campaigned for both of them and have worked particularly hard for Buchanan, who ran in a nail-biter in November.

The addition of Garamendi into the mix will certainly spur a lot of debate in the ranks of the Democratic Party.

UPDATE 7:41 AM: In the editing process last night, I dropped a “you” from the last sentence of Garamendi’s quote. Also, a reader pointed out that Garamendi was referring to the generic “you” and did not mean specifically the people in the audience.

Lisa Vorderbrueggen

  • BJD

    Do we have a district betting pool up yet? Who cares about NCAA brackets and the NHL playoffs, we have CD-10 to bet on!

  • Welcome to the race, John.

  • Sean Donahoe

    Lisa, please, there’s some details being omitted.

    Garamendi didn’t say that the people in the room had told him he should think about running, but that indeterminate “people” said he should run. He spoke very eloquently on the Propositions 1A-F, standing out in stark contrast to the other Democratic gubernatorial candidates.

    He stood apart from Gavin, Antonio, Jerry, and Arnold.

    He stands with the Californian electorate.

    His stance on the 2/3rds budget requirement? He spoke of learning in a schoolroom in Molkulemne Hill the merits of majority rule….He is for simple majority on budget and revenue.

    These are the real stances to emphasize, not the CD10 horserace soap opera.

  • Lisa Vorderbrueggen

    You’re right. Garamendi was referring to the generic “you,” and not the people in the audience. My apologies if that was confusing. I also dropped a “you” out of the second part of his quote during the editing process, and I have added it back in.

    But the horserace aspect of this story is and will continue to be reported. This is the most exciting race in Contra Costa in years. If Garamendi runs, the race will only get more interesting.

    As for your observation about Garamendi’s stances, have patience, my friend. I plan to post a more detailed compare-and-contrast on the three potential candidates’ views about the propositions this morning.

    Lisa v.

  • Rich

    Garamendi has a reputation in Sacramento for being a little nutty, and the fact that he’s eying the CD 10 seat just proves it. Nobody wants him to run for this office but himself, the groundswell of support just isn’t there. This is just goofy, wacky John Garamendi with another goofy wacky idea. He currently represents all California voters as Lt. Governor, but now wants to run for Congress and represent just 600,000? I mean it makes no sense.

  • RR

    Honest John ought to be considering a run for Gov, since much of his career has been spent in Sacramento. If nobody wants him to run for the office for which he is best-suited, why should we send him to DC?

  • BJD

    John should run in District 3 in he is going to run for congress.

  • Hey Lisa, Adriel Hampton is also running for the same seat and deserves to be acknowledged. Frankly, I’m not too impressed by the rest of the field, especially Sen. Mark DeSaulnier whom I covered while he was a Contra Costa Supervisor, and while Adriel is a long shot, I have no hesitation suggesting that Mr Hampton would be the best choice for Congressman for California and the district.

  • If Garamendi does choose to officially announce his run for Congressional District 10, I think he would make a great canidate considering his experience. Garamendi is a public servant with true values and trusted and proven leadership. His length in public office, given the complexities of our state and the crisis we are in, is a valuable asset to truly solving our woes. He has served in the cabinet at our federal level as well as protected consumers, negotiated budgets, and fought and won tough environmental protection battles. I personally believe he understands the issues of our times and by running in CD-10, he will be able to make a change at a national level.

  • ted ford

    As has been reported,the game plan is to free up the lt. Governor postion for Abel Maldonado and for the Democrats to then pick up that Senate seat. Garamendi can win if he has the backing of the Democratic establishment. Neither DeSaulnier nor Buchanan have Garamendi’s stature. A race among the three of them would be fun to watch, good sport.