With just two weeks until the Sept. 1 special primary to replace former Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.), one of the leading contenders, state Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan (D), has loaned herself another $250,000 in recent days, according to campaign finance records.
Buchanan has now loaned herself $500,000 overall as she battles Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier and Iraq War veteran Anthony Woods for primacy among Democrats in the all-party Sept. 1 election. Unless one candidate tops 50 percent of the vote, which seems highly unlikely, the top vote-getters from each party will advance to a special general election on Nov. 3.
Garamendi, the best known of the candidates, led two public polls that were released last week. But the unknown nature of the turnout in a special election leaves the Democratic contest very much up in the air.
Buchanan joined DeSaulnier and Garamendi on TV airwaves this week with an ad that touts her experience in business and on a local school board and ends with the tagline: “Not One of the Boys.—
All candidates are required to submit their latest campaign finance statements to the Federal Election Commission by the end of the day Thursday — and those reports could be another indication of the status of the race.
The leading Republican contender is attorney David Harmer, whose father, John Harmer (R), served as lieutenant governor of California when Ronald Reagan (R) was governor.
But the East Bay district that Tauscher left to take a top post at the State Department is heavily Democratic, meaning the Democrat that tops the Sept. 1 voting is almost certainly heading to Congress.