CA-10: Quick Sprint To September 1

The primary election in California’s 10th Congressional District is set for September 1, with the general election on November 3.  If nobody gets 50%+1 on September 1, the top vote-getters in each party advance to the general election, and given the orientation of the district, the top Democrat on September 1 will be the next Congressmember from CA-10.

The New York Times read off the conventional wisdom yesterday:

The lieutenant governor, John Garamendi, is considered the early favorite to replace Ms. Tauscher. Mr. Garamendi, a Democrat who had considered running for governor next year, said he opted instead for Congress in large part because of the abbreviated campaign […]

Mr. Garamendi’s principal challengers among the Democrats, some polls show, are State Senator Mark James DeSaulnier and Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan. Both were elected to their current posts last fall […]

The rest of the Democratic field is not as well known, though one candidate has attracted some national attention: Anthony Woods, a 28-year-old graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and a veteran of the Iraq war who was awarded the Bronze Star for two tours of duty. Shortly after his return from combat, while at Harvard working toward his master’s degree, Captain Woods told military superiors that he is gay, resulting in an honorable discharge […]

Others in the Democratic field include Tiffany Attwood, a local planning commissioner and self-described “mom who plays soccer” – do not call her a soccer mom – and Adriel Hampton, a former reporter for The San Francisco Examiner who said he was entering politics because of a “Howard Beale moment,” referring to the fictional insane anchorman from the 1976 film “Network.”

We’re slowly starting to learn further details.  While candidates don’t need to announce fundraising totals until July 15, Anthony Woods got the jump by announcing that he raised over $100,000 from 800 donors, which his campaign reports as twice as many as the number of donors John Garamendi announced a week earlier.  He’s pushing his online efforts:

Woods’ campaign is also leading his CD 10 competitors in online fundraising and online organizing. According to, Woods is far outpacing the two other Sacramento politicians in the race-State Senator Mark Desaulnier and Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan-in internet fundraising, and Woods has organized more supporters on Facebook (more than 4,700) than every other CD 10 candidate combined.

Woods has captured some national attention, particularly in the blogosphere, and we’ll see if that translates to a quick-sprint campaign.  John Garamendi seems not to think so:

Garamendi said it’s a three-way race, and he’s not counting Woods as a top-tier candidate: “He’s a serious young man that’s capable, and he’s got a national issue and a good story to go with it. And that’s to his benefit.”

But he said Woods is similar to the half-dozen or so other confirmed or prospective candidates who lack a natural base for their campaigns: “Everybody regards me as the front-runner.”

To that end, Garamendi secured a local labor endorsement, from the Alameda County Central Labor Council.  There’s a small patch of Alameda County in the district, particularly around Livermore.  But the dynamic in the race thus far has been that Mark DeSaulnier locked up all the early local support, including Contra Costa County’s Labor Council, and Garamendi had roped in the national labor groups.  The Lt. Governor getting local labor support helps him with manpower.

I hope to have much more on this race as it moves forward, including some discussions on the issues currently facing Congress.

…couple updates.  I hadn’t realized that Garamendi announced a $300,000 haul for the last quarter about a week ago.  Also, per babaloo in comments, the Alameda County Central Labor Council made a dual endorsement of Garamendi and DeSaulnier.

14 thoughts on “CA-10: Quick Sprint To September 1”

  1. The Alameda County Central Labor Council endorsed both Garamendi and DeSaulnier.

  2. Basically spitting endorsements is a victory of sorts for Garamendi as it prevents any possibility of a candidate getting the CA Labor Federation endorsement.

    Therefore it goes back to the local individual unions to endorse a particular candidate.

    This early election date too will help Garamendi as turnout is going to be pathetically low so his name recognition will be higher hurdle to overcome for the other candidates in this short race.

    And in typical August weather it will be brutally hot and combined with the likely voter pool bring spread out, going door to door isn’t really a viable option. So this will come down to money and who can spend it effectively using it on direct mail and paid phones.  

  3. The last poll I saw had Garamendi with a 80% recognition and a 21% approval rating.  Something similar for Mark DeSaulnier.

    Anybody seen any newer polling than that?

  4. We got our first auto-call from Anthony Woods last night.  Glad to see that he is spending some of that money raised outside the district.  I have not been able to get his campaign to respond to emails offering to volunteer or otherwise get involved.  We’ll see if the people of CA-10 want a national figure with no local interest.  That could be good for the district, but it would be nice to have someone with national and local cred, e.g., George Miller.

    Meanwhile, Garamendi is claiming the lead despite the fact that DeSaulnier has all of the local support.  Again, we’ll see whether press coverage or word of mouth is more important in a sprint.

    I actually found Joan Buchanan to be most impressive at a forum a few weeks ago.  DeSaulnier was strong as well, but needs to be his own man, not just a list of endorsements.  The others left a lot to be desired.  

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