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Washington
CU-backed candidate wins Calif. special election
WASHINGTON (9/03/09)--Credit union-backed candidate John Garamendi on Tuesday won a California special primary and will serve as the Democratic candidate for the congressional seat that will be vacated by incoming State Department official and current representative Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif). Garamendi, who currently serves as lieutenant governor and previously served as state insurance commissioner, was supported by the California Credit Union League and the Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC), and defeated 13 fellow candidates by gaining 26.2% of the total vote. However, Garamendi will next need to win a special general election on Nov. 3, since he did not win the 50% of votes needed to automatically assume the vacant congressional seat. Garamendi is expected to win the seat because District 10, which spans Contra Costa, Solano and Alameda counties in Northern California, is mainly Democratic. Garamendi’s main opposition will be Republican David Harmer, with American Independence Party candidate Jerry Denham, Green Party candidate Jeremy Cloward, and Peace and Freedom Party candidate Mary McIlroy also set to contest the open seat. If Garamendi wins the November election, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger would appoint a replacement lieutenant governor. CULAC and the league earlier this year also supported Judy Chu (D-Calif.), who won a special election for the House seat from the 32nd district.


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