FAIRFIELD — Democratic incumbent Rep. John Garamendi held a commanding lead in the Congressional Third District primary race Tuesday night in his effort to retain his seat while Republican Colusa County Supervisor Kim Vann led a field of four Republicans who want to take Garamendi’s job.
Garamendi, with 52.6 percent of the vote as of 11 p.m., and Vann, with 25 percent of the vote, will now likely face off in November to find out who will represent this district that has two Air Force bases, Beale and Travis, parts of the Delta and important agricultural land.
Vacaville Republican Rick Tubbs, an airline pilot and an officer in the Air Force Reserve, ran against Rep. George Miller in 2010 and came in third this time around with 15.4 percent of the vote.
Republicans prosecutor Tony Carlos of Yuba City and real estate agent Eugene Ray of Vacaville also failed to make the primary’s cut Tuesday with 4.8 percent and 2.1 percent of the vote, respectively.
Garamendi, 67, of Walnut Grove, centered his run to keep his job in Congress around the issues of jobs, education and small business as well as vowing to protect Beale and Travis Air Force Bases. He also committed himself to protecting Medicare benefits and Social Security, opposing any Republican plans to change the two systems.
“We have had a terrific evening. This is one of the best grassroots campaigns that I have been involved in,” Garamendi said, pointing out that his campaign has never let up, knocking on approximately 3,300 doors on Election Day.
Garamendi said that constituents he has talked to during the campaign have understand what he is doing for them in Washington and support what he is doing to create more jobs, rebuild the economy and improve education.
As for what comes now, “more of the same,” Garamendi said.
“I am going back to Washington on the Redeye tonight and take on the issue of creating jobs on the United States,” Garamendi said, alluding to his Make It In America legislation.
He said he is looking forward to continuing to do “retail politics,” “getting out and talking about the issues and listening to people’s concerns” in what he called “one of the most fabulous districts in America.”
Vann, 37, from Arbunkle, ran because she said she did not like where the nation was headed. She promised to rein in regulations that hurt business and farmers, protect the district’s two military bases and ensure the nation’s defense has the funding it needs.
Vann was not put off by Garamendi’s lead as the sole Democratic candidate in a Democratic-leaning district, saying she was looking forward to November’s elections and facing off against Garamendi.
“I am extremely humbled and very blessed with the level of support that I have received. My team and I have run a phenomenal campaign,” Vann said.
Vann stressed party allegiance is second to the important task of picking the best representative who has the Third Congressional District’s interests at heart.
“The number one concern, hands down, is jobs. My constituency is concerned that jobs are not just fleeing this district, but also the state,” Vann said.
Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ithompsondr.