Lt. Gov. John Garamendi emerged as the highest vote-getter in Tuesday's 10th Congressional District special election, but will have to compete in a runoff Nov. 3 to claim the seat vacated by Ellen Tauscher.
With all 173 precincts reporting in a crowded open primary, Garamendi had 26 percent of the votes, and state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, was second among Democrats with 17.6 percent, according to the California Secretary of State web site. The Democratic pack was rounded out by Alamo Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan's 12 percent and Iraq war veteran Anthony Woods at 8 percent.
Among the Republicans, David Harmer — a lawyer and businessman from San Ramon — had 20.5 percent of the votes, far ahead of second-place finisher Chris Bunch, a small-business owner who had 4.5 percent of votes.
The district, which sprawls across Alameda, Contra Costa, Sacramento and Solano counties, claims an 18-percentage-point Democratic edge in registered voters. Tauscher had represented the district since 1996 when she scored a surprise win against Republican Bill Baker.
In June, Tauscher left the seat to become undersecretary of arms control in the State Department.
Because Garamendi didn't win an outright majority, he will face off against Harmer and three minor-party candidates.
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