|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 3rd district
10th district (2009–2013)
November 3, 2009
|Preceded by||Ellen Tauscher|
|46th Lieutenant Governor of California|
January 8, 2007 – November 3, 2009
|Preceded by||Cruz Bustamante|
|Succeeded by||Mona Pasquil
(as Acting Lieutenant Governor)
|1st and 5th California Insurance Commissioner|
January 6, 2003 – January 8, 2007
|Preceded by||Harry W. Low|
|Succeeded by||Steve Poizner|
January 7, 1991 – January 2, 1995
|Preceded by||new position|
|Succeeded by||Chuck Quackenbush|
|United States Deputy Secretary of the Interior|
|Member of the California State Senate
from the 5th district
December 3, 1984 – December 3, 1990
|Preceded by||Milton Marks|
|Succeeded by||Patrick Johnston|
|Member of the California State Senate
from the 13th district
December 2, 1976 – December 3, 1984
|Preceded by||Al Alquist|
|Succeeded by||Al Alquist|
|Member of the California State Assembly
from the 7th district
December 7, 1974 – December 2, 1976
|Preceded by||William T. Bagley|
|Succeeded by||Norman S. Waters|
|Born||John Raymond Garamendi
January 24, 1945
Camp Blanding, Florida
|Spouse(s)||Patricia W. Garamendi|
|Residence||Walnut Grove, California|
John Raymond Garamendi (born January 24, 1945) is an American rancher, businessman, politician and member of the Democratic Party who has represented areas of Northern California between San Francisco and Sacramento, including the city of Fairfield, in the United States House of Representatives since November 2009. Garamendi was previously the California Insurance Commissioner from 1991 to 1995 and 2003 to 2007, the U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Interior from 1995 to 1998 and the 46th Lieutenant Governor of California from 2007 until his election to Congress.
Garamendi was born in Camp Blanding, Florida and raised in Mokelumne Hill, California. He earned a B.A. in business from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, then served in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia from 1966 to 1968. He was elected to the California State Assembly in 1974, serving a single term before being elected to the California State Senate in 1976, where he served for four terms until 1990. During this time he had a spell as Majority Leader and ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nominations for Governor of California in 1982 and for California State Controller in 1986.
In 1990, he was elected to be the first California Insurance Commissioner, serving from 1991 to 1995. Rather than seek re-election, he ran for Governor in the 1994 election, losing in the Democratic primary. He left public office and served as President Bill Clinton's Deputy Secretary of the Interior from 1995 to 1998, then worked for the Peace Corps again. He was elected Insurance Commissioner again in 2002 and briefly ran for Governor again in the 2003 recall, before dropping out to support Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante. In 2006, he was elected Lieutenant Governor to succeed the term-limited Bustamante.
Garamendi had planned to run for Governor for a fourth time in 2010 but after Democratic U.S. Representative Ellen Tauscher of California's 10th congressional district resigned to become Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, Garamendi won a November 2009 special election to succeed her. He was re-elected in 2010 and, after redistricting, for the California's 3rd congressional district in 2012 and 2014.
- 1 Early life and education
- 2 California legislature (1977–1991)
- 3 Insurance Commissioner (1991–1995)
- 4 1995–2003
- 5 Insurance Commissioner (2003–2007)
- 6 Lieutenant Governor (2007–2009)
- 7 U.S. House of Representatives (2009–Present)
- 8 Electoral history
- 9 Personal life
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Early life and education
Garamendi was raised in Mokelumne Hill, California, the son of Mary Jane (née McSorley) and Raymond V. Garamendi. His paternal grandparents were Basque immigrants from Spain and his mother was of half Irish and half Italian ancestry. Garamendi received a B.A. in business from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was both a football player and wrestler, and a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School. He served in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia from 1966 to 1968. Garamendi is an Eagle Scout. Garamendi is also a member of Sigma Chi, as a brother of the Alpha Beta Chapter at Berkeley.
California legislature (1977–1991)
In 1974, Garamendi decided to run for California's 7th State Assembly district. Six-term Republican incumbent William T. Bagley did not run for re-election, instead running for California State Controller and losing in the general election to Democratic State Assemblyman Kenneth Cory. In the election to succeed Bagley, Garamendi faced Republican State Assemblyman Douglas F. Carter. Carter had won a special election in the 12th Assembly district in July 1973 to succeed Repyblican Robert T. Monagan, who had resigned to become United States Assistant Secretary of Transportation. In the general election, Garamendi defeated Carter in a landslide, by 60,380 votes (64.08%) to 33,842 (35.92%) as the Democrats won a supermajority in the California State Assembly for the first time since the 1800s.
In 1976, he decided to retire after one term to run in California's 13th State Senate district. He defeated Republican Bob Whitten 53%-47%. He won re-election in 1980 (60%), 1984 (69%), and 1988 (69%).
While in the California Senate, he served as Majority Leader. His sponsored legislation reformed health care, welfare, and the state tax code. He also protected Lake Tahoe and Mono Lake. He was Chairman of the Joint Committee on Science and Technology, the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, the Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee.
1982 gubernatorial election
1986 Controller election
Insurance Commissioner (1991–1995)
He ran for California Insurance Commissioner for the first time in 1990. He won the Democratic primary with a plurality of 36% of the vote. His closest challenger was radio talk show host Bill Press, who got 28% of the vote. In the general election, he defeated Republican Wes Bannister 52%-38%.
His early years in the office brought him much controversy due to the state seizure of Executive Life Insurance Company, a bankruptcy that was coincidental with the creation of the state Department of Insurance. In addition to this had a number of other accomplishments. He successfully implemented Proposition 103, reforming the auto and homeowner insurance industry. Under his leadership, the department protected homeowners from the Oakland Hills Fire by forcing insurance companies to fully pay for rebuilding. His department earned a reputation as the best consumer protection agency in the nation.
1994 gubernatorial election
After his tenure as Insurance Commissioner, President Bill Clinton appointed Garamendi to serve as Deputy Secretary of the Interior, the second-highest post in the U.S. Department of the Interior. He resigned in 1998 and led groups of Peace Corps volunteers that helped negotiate peace in the Eritrean–Ethiopian War and Congo Civil War from 1998 to 2000. He then spent time in the private sector.
Insurance Commissioner (2003–2007)
He ran for California Insurance Commissioner for a second time in 2002. He won the Democratic primary with 39% of the vote. In the general election, he defeated Republican Gary Mendoza 46%-42%.
He created a Home Owners Bill of Rights. This helped create laws that reduced workers compensation costs 58% and reduced premiums by over $500 million. He re-established an anti-fraud task force. He also developed a report analyzing California’s health care system with 43 recommended improvements.
2003 gubernatorial election
Lieutenant Governor (2007–2009)
On July 16, 2004, Garamendi announced his candidacy to run for Lieutenant Governor of California, the first and only time he would run for this position. Incumbent Cruz Bustamante was term-limited and decided to run to replace Garamendi as Insurance Commissioner. Garamendi's endorsers included former Vice President Al Gore, Sierra Club, the California Teachers Association, the California League of Conservation Voters, the Peace Officers Research Association of California, the California Professional Firefighters Association, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, and former U.S. Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt. Garamendi won the Democratic primary by defeating state senators Jackie Speier and Liz Figueroa 43%-40%-18%. In the general election, he defeated Republican State Senator Tom McClintock 49%-45%.
As Lieutenant Governor of California Garamendi was the de jure President of the State Senate, regent of the University California, Trustee of the California State University System, member of the California State Lands Commission, Chairman of the California Commission for Economic Development, and acting Governor.
U.S. House of Representatives (2009–Present)
Despite living outside of California's 10th congressional district, Garamendi announced his intention to run for the 2009 special election in the 10th district, where Democratic U.S. Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher had vacated her seat. There was some confusion about the location of Garamendi's residence. Garamendi said: "My front yard is in the district, our bedroom is not." Garamendi continued to fuel speculation about the location of his residence when he made similar comments to the NYT in July, stating the same thing. The Sacramento Board of Elections later confirmed that no portion of Garamendi’s property lies within Congressional District 10.
In the September election, no candidate reached the 50% threshold to avoid a run-off election. Garamendi ranked first among Democrats with 26% of the vote, defeating State Senator Mark DeSaulnier (18%) and Assemblymember Joan Buchanan (12%). In the November run-off special election, Garamendi defeated Republican nominee David Harmer 53%-43%. After winning the special election on November 3, Garamendi was sworn in as a member of the US House of Representatives on November 5, 2009.
Garamendi won re-election to his first full term defeating Republican nominee Gary Clift 59%-38%.
The old 10th Congressional District represented by Garamendi made up just 23% of the new 3rd district. While the old 10th Congressional District traditionally favored Democrats, the new 3rd District is now considered swing district by some. Garamendi defeated Republican Kim Vann 54.2%-45.8%. 
Garamendi was re-elected.
During the 111th Congress, Garamendi voted with his party 98% of the time.
While Democrats had the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2009 to 2010, Garamendi voted for most of Speaker Nancy Pelosi's agenda. Some key votes include his support of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010.
John Garmendi actively opposed a GOP-backed construction of a missile defense site on the East Coast, saying it was fiscally irresponsible to be "spending up to $5 billion in the next three years on a missile defense system that doesn't work."
Garamendi is also part of a bipartisan group that wants to challenge "a new law that allows the indefinite detention without trial of suspected terrorists." He also voted against extending the Patriot Act.
- Committee on Armed Services
- Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
- Committee on Agriculture
- House Democratic Caucus
- International Conservation Caucus
- Military Families Caucus
- Populist Caucus
|Office||Type||Location||Elected||Term began||Term ended|
|State Assemblyman||Legislature||Sacramento||1974||December 7, 1974||December 2, 1976|
|State Senator||Legislature||Sacramento||1976||December 2, 1976||December 8, 1980|
|State Senator||Legislature||Sacramento||1980||December 8, 1980||December 3, 1984|
|State Senator||Legislature||Sacramento||1984||December 3, 1984||December 5, 1988|
|State Senator||Legislature||Sacramento||1988||December 5, 1988||December 3, 1990|
|Insurance Commissioner||Executive||Sacramento||1990||January 7, 1991||January 2, 1995|
|Insurance Commissioner||Executive||Sacramento||2002||January 6, 2003||January 8, 2007|
|Lieutenant Governor||Executive||Sacramento||2006||January 8, 2007||November 3, 2009|
|U.S. Representative||Legislative||Washington, D.C.||2009||November 3, 2009||January 3, 2011|
|U.S. Representative||Legislative||Washington, D.C.||2010||January 3, 2011||Present|
|California State Legislature service|
|California Insurance Commissioner general election, 1990|
|Peace and Freedom||Tom Condit||281,276||3.9|
|Democratic win (new seat)|
|California Insurance Commissioner general election, 2002|
|Green||David Ishmael Sheidlower||277,667||3.9|
|Libertarian||Dale F. Ogden||236,688||3.3|
|Natural Law||Raul Calderon||192,001||2.7|
|American Independent||Steven A. Klein||148,893||2.1|
|California Lieutenant Governor primary election, 2006|
|California Lieutenant Governor general election, 2006|
|Green||Donna J. Warren||239,107||2.8|
|American Independent||Jim King||68,446||0.8|
|Peace and Freedom||Tom Condit||43,319||0.5|
|California's 10th congressional district special primary, 2009|
|American Independent||Jerome Denham||309||0.29%|
|Peace and Freedom||Mary McIlroy||272||0.25%|
|Democratic||Tiffany Attwood (write-in)||2||0.00%|
|United States House of Representatives elections, 2010|
|California's 10th congressional district special election, 2009|
|Peace and Freedom||Mary McIlroy||1,846||1.34%|
|American Independent||Jerome Denham||1,591||1.15%|
|United States House of Representatives elections, 2010|
|Democratic||John Garamendi (incumbent)||137,578||58.9%|
|United States House of Representatives elections, 2012|
|Democratic||John Garamendi (incumbent)||126,882||54.2%|
Garamendi is married to Patricia W. "Patti" Garamendi, who has worked as Agriculture Specialist for the California Exposition and State Fair and as Deputy Secretary of California's Business, Transportation and Housing Agency. In 1993, she was appointed by President Clinton to serve as Associate Director of the Peace Corps and in 1998 as Deputy Administrator in the Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service. They live in Walnut Grove and have six children and nine grandchildren.
- "Representative John Garamendi (CA)". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved November 21, 2010.
- "Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.)". Roll Call. Retrieved June 14, 2011.
- "Congressional District 10 Special General Election Results". Secretary of State of California. 2009-11-03. Retrieved 2009-11-03.[dead link]
- Garamendi bid press release
- "Tauscher accepts State Department post - San Jose Mercury News". Mercurynews.com. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
- John Garamendi announces for Congress
- John Garamendi in an exclusive interview with EuskoSare: "There is a culture of education and advancement within the Basque community"
- John Garamendi ancestry
- "Biography". US House of Representatives. Retrieved January 8, 2011.
- "Notable former Peace Corps Volunteers in Government." About the Peace Corps.
- List of Notable Sigma Chi's on fraternity's website
- "Our Campaigns - CA State Assembly 07 1974". Our Campaigns. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
- "The Times Standard from Eureka, California · Page 18". The Times Standard. November 7, 1974. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
- "Our Campaigns - CA Senate 13". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2013-04-15.
- Our Campaigns - CA State Senate 13 Race - Nov 04, 1980
- Our Campaigns - CA State Senate 05 Race - Nov 06, 1984
- Our Campaigns - CA State Senate 05 Race - Nov 08, 1988
- [dead link]
- Our Campaigns - Candidate - John Garamendi
- Our Campaigns - CA Governor - D Primary Race - Jun 08, 1982
- Our Campaigns - CA Controller - D Primary Race - Jun 03, 1986
- Our Campaigns - CA Insurance Commissioner - D Primary Race - Jun 05, 1990
- Our Campaigns - CA Insurance Commissioner Race - Nov 06, 1990
- Our Campaigns - CA Governor - D Primary Race - Jun 07, 1994
- "1994 Election Returns: Statewide Races." Office of the California Secretary of State (November 9, 1994).
- "Biography, Representative John Garamendi". Archived from the original on February 11, 2012. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
- Our Campaigns - CA Insurance Commissioner - D Primary Race - Mar 05, 2002
- Our Campaigns - CA Insurance Commissioner Race - Nov 05, 2002
- Our Campaigns - CA Lieutenant Governor - D Primary Race - Jun 06, 2006
- Our Campaigns - CA Lieutenant Governor Race - Nov 07, 2006
- Meet John | Garamendi for Congress
- Marinucci, Carla (23 April 2009). "Garamendi changes course for Tauscher's seat". SF Gate. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
- Our Campaigns - CA - District 10 - Special Election Runoff Race - Nov 03, 2009
- California Secretary of State election results, Tenth CD, November 2009
- "Garamendi Takes Oath In Congress", KCRA.com, November 5, 2009.
- Our Campaigns - CA - District 10 Race - Nov 02, 2010
- Solano County's Congressman John Garamendi files election papers - The Reporter
- Garamendi is a candidate for new third congressional district
- "California Redistricting: The Democrats' Proposal". Swing State Project. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
- United States House of Representatives elections in California, 2012 (this version)
- "John Garamendi (D)". The U.S. Congress Votes Database. The Washington Post. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- "Garamendi Votes Database". U.S. Congress Votes Database. The Washington Post. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
- Cassata, Donna (9 May 2012). "House panel OKs missile defense site on East Coast". Associated Press. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
- Cassata, Donna (16 May 2012). "Bipartisan House group wants end to indefinite detention, without trial, for terror suspects". Associated Press. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
- The Washington Post http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/112/house/1/votes/66/. Missing or empty
- "Official Canvass: United States Representative 10th Congressional District Special Primary Election, September 1, 2009" (PDF). Secretary of State of California. 2009-09-09. Retrieved 2009-09-22.
- 2010 general election results
- "Official Canvass: United States Representative 10th Congressional District Special General Election, November 3, 2009" (PDF). Secretary of State of California. 2009-11-16. Retrieved 2009-11-16.
- 2012 general election results
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to John Garamendi.|
- Congressman John Garamendi official U.S. House site
- John Garamendi for Congress
- John Garamendi at DMOZ
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at The Library of Congress