The House seat opened up when Democrat Ellen Tauscher resigned over the summer to take a post at the State Department. In a district with a strong Democratic registration edge, Garamendi’s victory wasn’t much of a surprise once he won the primary. Yesterday, he topped Republican attorney David Harmer by a comfortable margin. He could be sworn into office as soon as Thursday.
Garamendi’s election opens up the state’s second-highest constitutional office. It’ll now be up to Governor Schwarzenegger to appoint a replacement – subject to approval by majorities in both houses of the legislature. In the meantime, if Schwarzenegger leaves the state or becomes unable to hold office, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg would become acting governor.
Schwarzenegger’s office declined to give a timeline on an appointment.