Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: Nov. 2009, 3rd full term.

Born: January 24, 1945, Camp Blanding, FL

Home: Walnut Grove, CA

Education: U of CA-Berkeley, B.A. 1966; Harvard U., M.B.A. 1974

Professional Career: U.S. Peace Corps volunteer, Ethiopia 1966-68; Deputy Secy., U.S. Dept. of Interior, 1995-98

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Christian Church

Family: Married (Patricia (Patti) Wilkinson) , 6 children ; 10 grandchildren

John Garamendi is one of the House’s most politically-seasoned Democrats, with a public service career spanning more than 40 years. A former California lieutenant governor, he won a San Francisco Bay-area House seat in a 2009 special election to replace departing Democratic Rep. Ellen Tauscher and then, in 2012, eked out a close win in the completely redrawn 3rd District.

Garamendi was raised on his family’s cattle ranch in Calaveras County, Calif. At the University of California, Berkeley, he was an All-American offensive guard in football and was also a competitive wrestler. After graduating, he joined the Peace Corps in Ethiopia, where his wife, Patti, also was a volunteer. The experience launched him on a career in public service. After returning to California, he won his first campaign in 1974 to the state Assembly. In 1976, he was elected to the state Senate, where he eventually became majority leader. During his career, he did two stints as the state’s insurance commissioner and also was President Bill Clinton’s deputy secretary of the Interior. But he ultimately failed twice in his bid to become governor of California. In the 2006 Democratic primary for lieutenant governor, Garamendi narrowly defeated Jackie Speier, who represents the 14th District in the House. He went on to beat Republican Tom McClintock in the general election. Garamendi was planning another run for governor in 2010 when Tauscher resigned her House seat in June 2009 to become Obama’s undersecretary for state for arms control and international security.

In the jockeying before the all-party primary in September, state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier was an early favorite among Democrats and gained endorsements from Tauscher and from Rep. George Miller, a close ally of Democratic House Speaker Pelosi. While DeSaulnier was better known locally, Garamendi had higher name identification from his statewide campaigns, and he also had endorsements from Clinton and former Vice President Al Gore. In the September 1 primary, Garamendi prevailed among Democrats, winning 26% to DeSaulnier’s 18%. But no candidate received the requisite 50%, and Garamendi moved on to a runoff election against Republican attorney David Harmer, who earned the most votes among the Republican candidates.

Harmer had some name recognition as the son of former GOP Lt. Gov. John Harmer, but he otherwise was not well known. He was competitive financially, raising $800,000 to Garamendi’s $1 million. Still, he faced an uphill battle in what was then California’s 10th District, a suburban San Francisco district where Democrats held an 18-percentage-point advantage over Republicans. During the campaign, Garamendi embraced President Barack Obama’s agenda, including support for the public option in the health care legislation. Harmer campaigned in opposition to the president, criticizing the government bailouts of the financial and auto industries. Garamendi won with 53% of the vote to Harmer’s 43%.

In the House, Garamendi got a seat on the Natural Resources Committee and was among the strongest critics of offshore oil drilling in the wake of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, drawing attention for his proposal to bar new federal drilling leases off the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington state. In late November 2012, Garamendi switched to the Agriculture Committee, which is a better match for his new, heavily agricultural district, and he was just in time to join negotiations on the farm bill in the lame-duck session. He has been outspoken in opposing Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown’s ambitious plan to build two tunnels to pipe Sierra mountains snowmelt to San Joaquin Valley farms and Southern California cities. He introduced a bill in October 2012 requiring a cost-benefit analysis of the idea. Garamendi succeeded in adding an amendment to the fiscal 2011 defense bill to authorize the Energy Department to create technology transfer centers at Livermore and other national labs.

California’s independent redistricting commission put Garamendi’s residence in the newly redrawn 3rd District, where 77% of voters were new to him, making him ripe for a GOP challenge in 2012. In the June primary, he got nearly 52% of the vote, setting up a general election face-off with Republican Kim Vann, a Colusa County supervisor. Vann sought to appeal to independent voters by refusing to sign the Republicans’ no-tax pledge and by speaking out in favor of popular provisions in President Obama’s health care legislation. She ran a strong campaign and got help from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which spent $600,000 as part of its effort to defeat Golden State Democrats. But Garamendi won with 54%.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-1880

(202) 225-5914

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2438
Washington, DC 20515-0503

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-1880

(202) 225-5914

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2438
Washington, DC 20515-0503

DISTRICT OFFICE

(202) 225-1880

(202) 225-5914

1261 Travis Boulevard Suite 130
Fairfield, CA 94533-4800

DISTRICT OFFICE

(707) 438-1822

(707) 438-0523

609 Jefferson Street
Fairfield, CA 94533-6293

DISTRICT OFFICE

(202) 225-1880

(202) 225-5914

412 G Street
Davis, CA 95616-4158

DISTRICT OFFICE

(530) 753-5301

(530) 753-5614

412 G Street
Davis, CA 95616-4158

DISTRICT OFFICE

(202) 225-1880

(202) 225-5914

795 Plumas Street
Yuba City, CA 95991-4437

DISTRICT OFFICE

(530) 329-8865

(530) 763-4248

795 Plumas Street
Yuba City, CA 95991-4437

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(202) 225-1880

(202) 225-5914

911 Third Street
Davis, CA 95616

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

1050 - 17th Street, NW Suite 590
Washington, CA 20036

EXPORT CONTACTS » *

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Bradley Bottoms
Legislative Assistant

(202) 225-1880

Aerospace

William Tran
Legislative Assistant; Legislative Correspondent

(202) 225-1880

Garrett Durst
Legislative Assistant

(202) 225-1880

Agriculture

Garrett Durst
Legislative Assistant

(202) 225-1880

Animal Rights

Emily Burns
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

(202) 225-1880

Appropriations

Emily Burns
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

(202) 225-1880

Arts

Emily Burns
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

(202) 225-1880

Nicole McAllister
Scheduler; Legislative Assistant

(202) 225-1880

Banking

Bradley Bottoms
Legislative Assistant

(202) 225-1880

Budget

Emily Burns
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

(202) 225-1880

Campaign

Bradley Bottoms
Legislative Assistant

(202) 225-1880

Commerce

Emily Burns
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

(202) 225-1880

Bradley Bottoms
Legislative Assistant

(202) 225-1880

Consumers

Emily Burns
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

(202) 225-1880

Economics

Emily Burns
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

(202) 225-1880

Education

Emily Burns
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

(202) 225-1880

Nicole McAllister
Scheduler; Legislative Assistant

(202) 225-1880

Energy

Gabriel Sehr
Legislative Assistant

(202) 225-1880

Environment

Garrett Durst
Legislative Assistant

(202) 225-1880

Family

Emily Burns
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

(202) 225-1880

Finance

Bradley Bottoms
Legislative Assistant

(202) 225-1880

Foreign

Emily Burns
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

(202) 225-1880

Gabriel Sehr
Legislative Assistant

(202) 225-1880

Govt Ops

Bradley Bottoms
Legislative Assistant

(202) 225-1880

William Tran
Legislative Assistant; Legislative Correspondent

(202) 225-1880

Gun Issues

Emily Burns
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

(202) 225-1880

Health

Emily Burns
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

(202) 225-1880

Bradley Bottoms
Legislative Assistant

(202) 225-1880

Homeland Security

William Tran
Legislative Assistant; Legislative Correspondent

(202) 225-1880

Housing

Bradley Bottoms
Legislative Assistant

(202) 225-1880

Human Rights

Emily Burns
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

(202) 225-1880

Nicole McAllister
Scheduler; Legislative Assistant

(202) 225-1880

Immigration

Garrett Durst
Legislative Assistant

(202) 225-1880

Intelligence

William Tran
Legislative Assistant; Legislative Correspondent

(202) 225-1880

Judiciary

Emily Burns
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

(202) 225-1880

Gabriel Sehr
Legislative Assistant

(202) 225-1880

Labor

Emily Burns
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

(202) 225-1880

Bradley Bottoms
Legislative Assistant

(202) 225-1880

Land Use

Garrett Durst
Legislative Assistant

(202) 225-1880

Medicare

Emily Burns
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

(202) 225-1880

Military

William Tran
Legislative Assistant; Legislative Correspondent

(202) 225-1880

Joy Woellhart
Military Fellow

(202) 225-1880

Minorities

Nicole McAllister
Scheduler; Legislative Assistant

(202) 225-1880

Native Americans

Bradley Bottoms
Legislative Assistant

(202) 225-1880

Rural Affairs

Garrett Durst
Legislative Assistant

(202) 225-1880

Science

Emily Burns
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

(202) 225-1880

Garrett Durst
Legislative Assistant

(202) 225-1880

Small Business

Emily Burns
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

(202) 225-1880

Social Security

Emily Burns
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

(202) 225-1880

Tax

Bradley Bottoms
Legislative Assistant

(202) 225-1880

Technology

Emily Burns
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

(202) 225-1880

Telecommunications

William Tran
Legislative Assistant; Legislative Correspondent

(202) 225-1880

Dante Atkins
Press Secretary

(202) 225-1880

Trade

Emily Burns
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

(202) 225-1880

Transportation

Emily Burns
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

(202) 225-1880

Urban Affairs

Bradley Bottoms
Legislative Assistant

(202) 225-1880

Veterans

William Tran
Legislative Assistant; Legislative Correspondent

(202) 225-1880

Women

Emily Burns
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

(202) 225-1880

Nicole McAllister
Scheduler; Legislative Assistant

(202) 225-1880

Election Results

2014 GENERAL
John Garamendi
Votes: 68,303
Percent: 52.22%
Dan Logue
Votes: 62,494
Percent: 47.78%
2012 GENERAL
John Garamendi
Votes: 126,882
Percent: 54.23%
Kim Vann
Votes: 107,086
Percent: 45.77%
2012 PRIMARY
John Garamendi
Votes: 59,546
Percent: 51.47%
Kim Vann
Votes: 30,254
Percent: 26.15%
Rick Tubbs
Votes: 17,902
Percent: 15.48%
2010 GENERAL
John Garamendi
Votes: 137,578
Percent: 58.84%
Gary Clift
Votes: 88,512
Percent: 37.86%
2010 PRIMARY
John Garamendi
Votes: 62,138
Percent: 100.0%
2009 SPECIAL
John Garamendi
Votes: 66,311
Percent: 53.0%
David Harmer
Votes: 53,441
Percent: 43.0%
2009 PRIMARY
John Garamendi
Votes: 27,580
Percent: 26.0%
David Harmer
Votes: 22,582
Percent: 21.0%
Mark DeSaulnier
Votes: 18,888
Percent: 18.0%
Joan Buchanan
Votes: 12,896
Percent: 12.0%
Anthony Woods
Votes: 9,388
Percent: 9.0%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (59%), 2009 special (52%)

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