Democratic Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi is now the clear frontrunner in the race to take over for former East Bay Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher after receiving the most votes in yesterday's special election. Garamendi won 26.2 percent of the vote and will face Republican David Harmer, who came in second with 20.6 percent, in a November runoff, because neither candidate garnered a majority of the votes. Garamendi, however, is now the odds on favorite because the 10th Congressional District leans heavily Democratic. State Senator Mark DeSaulnier, the other major Democratic candidate in the race, finished third with 17.6 percent.
The race between Garamendi and DeSaulnier had been expected to be tighter, but Garamendi won in all four counties represented in the district, including Contra Costa County, where DeSaulnier had been expected to do well. Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan finished third among the Democratic candidates with 12 percent of the vote, followed by Iraq War veteran Anthony Woods, who left the military after coming out as a gay man. Tauscher gave up her seat to take a top position in the State Department.