Democrat Garamendi wins in Calif. congressional race

Lt. Gov. John Garamendi helps his party hang on to the seat vacated by former Rep. Ellen Tauscher

Published November 4, 2009 6:30AM (EST)

There weren't a whole lot of happy moments for Democrats on Tuesday night, but there was one in a little-noticed special election out in California. There, in the state's 10th Congressional District, Lt. Gov. John Garamendi easily defeated Republican David Harmer.

Garamendi will now be heading to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he'll replace former Rep. Ellen Tauscher, who's now the under secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security.

One reason the race had gotten so little attention nationally was that the outcome was all but assured. Beyond Garamendi's name recognition and long history in state politics, which certainly helped, the district is heavily Democratic.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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