Is one of these ‘Young Guns’ shooting blanks?

Two of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s “Young Guns” are near the Bay Area, but one of them might be shooting blanks.

Unofficial results from Tuesday’s primary in the 3rd Congressional District show incumbent John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, got 52.5 percent of the vote while “Young Gun” Kim Vann – a Colusa County supervisor – got 25.4 percent.

It’s true that Vann had to beat back three other Republican challengers, but the long and short of it is that Garamendi still managed to pull a majority of the votes in a low-turnout election that should’ve favored Republicans. In November, with the presidential election drawing many more voters to the polls and Democratic turnout improving accordingly, Vann’s going to have a much tougher time. The well-respected Cook Political Report agrees, listing Garamendi’s district – which has pieces of Colusa, Glenn, Lake, Sacramento, Solano, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties – as a “likely Democratic” win this fall.

Not that Vann is letting any grass grow under her feet. Here’s the video she released yesterday:

It could be somewhat different story over in the 9th Congressional District, listed by Cook as “lean Democratic” as incumbent Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton, seeks re-election.

Unofficial results show McNerney got 48.4 percent of the vote, while “Young Gun” Ricky Gill – a Lodi native who just finished law school at UC-Berkeley – drew 39.5 percent; another Republican, Mountain House businessman John McDonald, got 12.1 percent.

Unlike Garamendi, McNerney didn’t manage to get a majority on Tuesday. Spokeswoman Lauren Smith told me late Tuesday night that he’s not worried; he believes stronger Democratic turnout in November will buoy him to victory. The district – with parts of San Joaquin, Contra Costa and Sacramento counties – is registered 43.8 percent Democrat, 36.5 percent Republican and 15.8 percent no-party-preference, which gives him a better edge than the tiny GOP advantage he overcame in his old district in November 2010. But Gill is playing up his local roots and has raised a lot of money, and McNerney certainly can’t kick back and relax this summer.

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.

  • JAFO

    Has anyone else noticed how often John Garamendi claims to be from Walnut Creek? So, in additional to not even being a resident of his district (of course, he does claim to be able to see the district from his home across the river in Walnut Grove), he apparently assumes that having a mail drop office in Walnut Creek makes him a resident of that city. You really got to marvel at these jokers.

  • JohnW

    So, judging by the ads, I guess we could call the Van-Garamendi contest a real horse race.

  • Elwood
  • Elwood

    This blog is moribund.

  • Josh Richman

    I’ll be back to work on June 25!

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    Elwood, what this blog needs is a fresh infusion of wit and wisdom, say from Ralphie (pink tutu) Hoffmann, celebrated former guest columnist.

  • JohnW

    By June 25, we should be hearing from the Supremes on “ObamaCare.” That should liven up the board a bit.

  • Rick K.

    @#1 JAFO – Even better yet, “Live Shot” Garamendi now disavows his association with “Walnut Creek” and claims in his press releases to be “D-Fairfield”. Garamendi doesn’t live in Fairfield. But he now claims to be “D-Fairfield” because that’s the largest city common to his old and new districts. But – ha ha – Garamendi’s new “hometown” newspaper, the “Fairfield Daily Republic”, has endorsed Supervisor Vann. Look at http://www.dailyrepublic.com/opinion/ourview/vote-for-change-in-the-new-3rd-congressional-district/ (To his credit, Josh Richman usually ignores Garamendi’s “D-Walnut Creek” and “D-Fairfield” posturing and identifies him as “D-Walnut Grove,” his actual community of residence.)

    “Live Shot” Garamendi poured lots of money into the June election precisely to make the race appear to be non-competitive for November. Davis college students will be outraged to learn that Garamendi Sr. parlayed a seat on the UC Merced Foundation board of directors into a $210,000 a year job at UC Merced for his 30-something year old son John Garamendi, Jr. Davis students and faculty are sacrificing much because many UC administrators got their jobs through nepotism and cronyism. Both Tea Party and Occupy activists will be angered when they learn more about Garamendi’s mysterious job as “Washington, DC investment partner” to Yucaipa Co. in the go-go stock market bubble days of 1998-2000. Garamendi has refused to disclose how much he was paid and what exactly he did to receive the big bucks.

    Fellow Democrat Bill Lockyer been critical of Garamendi’s incompetence/corruption in the Exec Life scandal as insurance commissioner (that scandal is linked to Garamendi’s later lucrative job at Yucaipa). Look at http://www.calnews.com/archives/metcalf209.htm Fellow Democrat Gavin Newsom has criticized Garamendi for failing to create a state economic development plan at Lt. Governor. “Live Shot” Garamendi is a career politician who has used his 38 years in public life to enrich his blood relatives, his cronies and himself.

    Voters in the 3rd District are independent-minded and will bristle when they see his 2009 campaign literature in which he declared himself to be “The Proven Democrat.” Garamendi is a partisan political hack who now postures to be his own man.

    Supervisor Kim Vann and the voters of Fairfield, Vacaville, Dixon, Davis and points north — please show “Live Shot” Garamendi the door and send his posterior permanently out to pasture — in Walnut Grove or Mokelumne Hill or wherever that carpet-bagging opportunist considers his latest “home”!

  • JohnW

    Re: #8

    “Garamendi doesn’t live in Fairfield.”

    Okay, and Tom McClintock of Thousand Oaks ain’t from Northern CA.

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    Who gives a craperoo about where the Rep lives? Garamendi has his eyes on the main chance: governor or US senator. He already knows where the sources of clout are. His voting record is ignored by most of constituents, most of whom couldn’t be bothered to check. If he does a lousy job for Fairfield, who outside that lovely town cares? It is all about image. The much- respected Babo Lee has done zilch for Oaktown, and she is beloved!

  • JohnW

    You’re very hard on Garamendi. Historically, he has done a whale of a job, well, naming wayward whales.

    That said, I care if the person who represents me in Congress has ties to the district. Because of the changes redistricting can bring, it may be a good thing that you don’t have to actually reside in the district. However, there is a big difference between somebody like Garamendi, who has long-standing ties to the general area, and McClintock, who’s from hundreds of miles away. Of course, I suppose if Pombo were still around and some worthy opponent from San Diego showed up, the residency issue would take a back seat.

  • Readers:
    Just wait and see what this new candidate can do against John?