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California: Garamendi to Raise D.C. Money Next Week

Lt. Gov. John Garamendi (D) has scheduled a Capitol Hill fundraiser for his nascent campaign for Rep. Ellen Tauscher’s (D) likely-to-be-vacated 10th district seat.

Garamendi will be hosting an evening reception on May 20 at the townhouse owned by the lobbying firm Williams & Jensen. Four California Democrats, Reps. Sam Farr, Grace Napolitano, Diane Watson and Lynn Woolsey, are serving as co-sponsors of the event. Ticket prices start at $250.

Garamendi is one of a handful of Democrats who have announced their intention to run for the East Bay seat held by Tauscher, who has been nominated for a top post at the State Department but is yet to be confirmed. The other leading contenders in the putative special election are state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier and state Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan.

Just as Garamendi gets his Congressional campaign off the ground, the Contra Costa Times this weekend reported that a Democratic activist in California has filed complaints against Garamendi with the state attorney general’s office and the Federal Election Commission, alleging, among other things, that the lieutenant governor is using his two state campaign funds to boost his Congressional bid.

Garamendi was planning to run for governor in 2010 until Tauscher’s nomination was made public. If he loses the special Congressional election, he could, in theory, resume running for governor — or run for re-election.

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