We Must Join Together

The first stage of our area’s unexpectedly exciting political summer concluded with the 10th Congressional District special primary election on September 1. Democrats had an exceptional lineup of candidates from which to choose, and I want to congratulate Lt. Governor John Garamendi on his hard-earned victory.

As the top Democratic vote-getter in the primary election, Garamendi will now face Republican David Harmer on Tuesday, November 3. Harmer and the Republicans argue they have a shot to win this seat. They think Democrats are going to have troubles unifying behind our nominee. They think John Garamendi is vulnerable.

They could not be more wrong.

I have no doubt supporters of the other candidates (State Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, State Senator Mark DeSaulnier, Adriel Hampton, and Anthony Woods) are ready to unite and work to elect Garamendi on November 3.

But make no mistake, the stakes remain high. As a special election during a time of political controversy, Republicans around the country are poised to finance an upset bid: one they would seek to use to discreditPresident Obama and his agenda.

This is a Democratic seat. But elections are not won by the voter registration numbers. They are won only by those who actually cast their ballots. In a special election, we have to work extremely hard to make sure our voters mail in their ballots or show up at the polls on Election Day.

After the primary campaign, we know the issues important to John Garamendi. We know he wants to hit the ground running after his election. He is ready to fight to fix our broken health care system, create jobs, protect the environment, and improve our education system.

Despite what the polls or the voter registration numbers might suggest, we cannot take this election for granted. We cannot allow any perceived slights or issues from the primary to carry over and depress support for our party’s nominee. The Republicans must not be allowed even to think they can win this seat.

It was a spirited campaign, and the voters have chosen a candidate around whom we can unify, rally, and help to victory.

I supported another candidate in the primary, but I have absolutely no reservations about John Garamendi’s ability to fight for us in Congress. Please join me in working to elect John Garamendi to represent us in Congress on November 3.

— Craig