Now that California Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi is heading to Congress, the question is - who will Governor Schwarzenegger appoint to replace him? Schwarzenegger could select a Republican to take over for the Democrat Garamendi, but he'll have to get the appointment through the Democratically controlled Legislature. According to the Sacramento Bee, one name that keeps cropping up is GOP state Senator Abel Maldonado, a moderate who often sees eye to eye with the governor and who sometimes votes with the Democratic majority. But Democrats are still likely to balk unless Maldonado promises to not run for the position next year. They won't want a Republican running as an incumbent.
As for Garamendi, he easily won the race to replace East Bay Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher, defeating his Republican rival David Harmer by a wide margin. Garamendi is flying today to Washington DC and is to be sworn in tomorrow. Democrats need his vote in order to pass health care reform.