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April 22, 2009

Garamendi announces run for Congress

It’s official: California lieutenant governor John Garamendi (D) announced today that he is dropping out of the governor’s race to run for Congress.

Garamendi will be entering the race to succeed Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.), who was tapped for a post in the State Department. She will be stepping down from Congress upon her confirmation.

Garamendi’s entrance shakes up the special election field but, despite his four decades of experience in state politics,  doesn’t give him frontrunner status. He has proven fundraising ability in statewide campaigns, but will be running against a Democrat who has already won establishment backing.

State senator Mark DeSaulnier has already racked up the endorsements from Tauscher, Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) and leading labor unions – and is expected to be a formidable fundraiser as well.

Garamendi’s decision to run may also encourage state Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan to enter the race, given the splintered field.