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2009 California's 10th congressional district special election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

2009 California's 10th congressional district special election

← 2008 November 3, 2009 (2009-11-03) 2010 →
John Garamendi (cropped).jpg
Nominee John Garamendi David Harmer
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 72,817 59,017
Percentage 52.9% 42.8%

Ca10 109.png

Representative before election

Ellen Tauscher

Elected Representative

John Garamendi

California's 10th congressional district special election, 2009 was held on November 3, 2009, to fill the vacancy caused in California's 10th congressional district by the resignation of Ellen Tauscher. Democratic Party candidate John Garamendi won against Republican opponent David Harmer.

Background and procedures for election

On May 5, 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Democratic Representative Ellen Tauscher for the position of Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security.[1] She was confirmed by the United States Senate on June 26 and subsequently resigned from her congressional seat.[2]

Following her resignation, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger called a special election. An open primary among candidates of all political parties took place on September 1, 2009; if one candidate had won a majority of the votes, he or she would have won the seat with no further action. As that didn't occur, the general election took place on November 3, 2009 between the candidates with the most votes for each party.


The following individuals appeared in the certified list of candidates and the certified list of write-in candidates published by the Secretary of State of California, and were thus eligible to receive votes in the special primary election.[3][4]

American Independent

  • Jerome "Jerry" Denham, an insurance agent



  • Jeremy Cloward, a community college instructor

Peace and Freedom

  • Mary C. McIlroy


  • Chris Bunch, a small business owner
  • Gary W. Clift, a retired police officer
  • David Harmer, an independent businessman
  • Mark Loos, a small business owner
  • David Peterson, an accountability system owner
  • John Toth, a physician


General election

Poll source Date John Garamendi David Harmer Other
Survey USA October 26–28, 2009 50% 40% 6%



Since no candidate won a majority in the September 1, 2009, open primary, the candidates with the top votes for each party advanced to the special general election. Garamendi won more votes than any other Democrat and Harmer more than any Republican. Denham, Cloward, and McIlroy were the only candidates from their parties so they advanced the general election by default.

California's 10th congressional district special primary, 2009[6]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic John Garamendi 27,580 25.70
Republican David Harmer 22,582 21.05
Democratic Mark DeSaulnier 18,888 17.60
Democratic Joan Buchanan 12,896 12.02
Democratic Anthony Woods 9,388 8.75
Republican Chris Bunch 4,871 4.54
Republican Gary Clift 4,158 3.88
Republican John Toth 3,340 3.11
Republican David Peterson 1,671 1.56
Green Jeremy Cloward 552 0.51
Republican Mark Loos 418 0.39
Democratic Adriel Hampton 376 0.35
American Independent Jerome Denham 309 0.29
Peace and Freedom Mary McIlroy 272 0.25
Democratic Tiffany Attwood (write-in) 2 0.00
Total votes 107,303 100.00
Turnout   29.39


California's 10th congressional district special election, 2009[7]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic John Garamendi 72,817 52.85
Republican David Harmer 59,017 42.83
Green Jeremy Cloward 2,515 1.83
Peace and Freedom Mary McIlroy 1,846 1.34
American Independent Jerome Denham 1,591 1.15
Total votes 137,786 100.00
Turnout   35.33
Democratic hold


  1. ^ "President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts". May 5, 2009. Retrieved September 12, 2009 – via National Archives.
  2. ^ Vorderbrueggen, Lisa (June 26, 2009). "Tauscher confirmed as Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security". Contra Costa Times. Retrieved September 12, 2009.
  3. ^ "Certified List of Candidates for the Special Primary Election, Tenth Congressional District, September 1, 2009" (PDF). Secretary of State of California. July 27, 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 8, 2009. Retrieved September 22, 2009.
  4. ^ "Certified List of Write-In Candidates for the Special Primary Election, Tenth Congressional District, September 1, 2009" (PDF). Secretary of State of California. August 19, 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 8, 2009. Retrieved September 22, 2009.
  5. ^ Mart, Greta (July 15, 2009). "DeSaulnier endorsed by George Miller, Torlakson, Tauscher". Martinez News-Gazette. Archived from the original on September 8, 2012. Retrieved September 22, 2009.
  6. ^ "Official Canvass: United States Representative 10th Congressional District Special Primary Election, September 1, 2009" (PDF). Secretary of State of California. September 9, 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 24, 2009. Retrieved September 22, 2009.
  7. ^ "Official Canvass: United States Representative 10th Congressional District Special General Election, November 3, 2009" (PDF). Secretary of State of California. November 16, 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 19, 2009. Retrieved November 16, 2009.
This page was last edited on 2 March 2021, at 18:56
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