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California: Miller, Cardoza to Fete DeSaulnier in D.C.

State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier (D), one of three early frontrunners in the not-yet-scheduled special election to replace Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D), will be coming to Capitol Hill a week from today for a fundraiser at the National Democratic Club Townhouse.

Democratic Reps. George Miller and Dennis Cardoza, who represent districts near Tauscher’s, have endorsed DeSaulnier and will be special guests at the luncheon fundraiser. Tauscher has also endorsed DeSaulnier, but as President Barack Obama’s nominee to be an undersecretary of State, she is not expected to take a particularly active role in the campaign.

In another development in the expected special election, the 20,000 University of California workers represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299 voted late last week to endorse Lt. Gov. John Garamendi (D), who got into the race on Wednesday. The labor groups that previously lined up in the race have backed DeSaulnier.

“With everything going on in the nation, it is crucial that we have someone with the knowledge of the lieutenant governor to replace the experienced leadership of Congresswoman Tauscher in Washington, D.C.,— AFSCME Local 3299 President Lakesha Harrison said in a statement.

State Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan (D), who also joined the race last week, is the third frontrunner in the contest, though several other candidates from all political parties are expected to compete for the East Bay seat when the special election is eventually called.

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