FAIRFIELD — Rep. John Garamendi within minutes of declaring victory late Tuesday night released a long “to-do” list for his next term.
Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, won the 3rd District Congressional seat. He’s talking about boosting American manufacturing, protecting the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Travis Air Force Base, addressing flooding issues, responsibly reducing the deficit and assuring qualified students have access to affordable education.
“We’ve got our hands full,” Garamendi said Wednesday in a phone interview.
He has another two-year term to tackle such issues. The Secretary of State’s office reported early Wednesday that Garamendi led Republican challenger and Colusa County Supervisor Kim Vann, 54 percent to 46 percent, with 100 percent of precincts reporting. Within Solano County, Garamendi won by the same margin, according to what the state called semi-official results.
Solano County and Yolo County proved key to Garamendi’s triumph, with Garamendi getting 71,290 votes in those counties compared to Vann’s 47,130 votes. Vann had a wide lead over Garamendi in Glenn, Colusa, Sutter and Yuba counties, but in far more sparsely populated areas.
Overall, the redrawn 3rd District election map appears like the nation to have its red Republican and blue Democratic strongholds.
Garamendi said he intends to continue reaching out to Republicans in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. He said he sees a change in the dynamics in Congress because of President Barack Obama’s re-election.
A lot of the partisanship issues that so concerned the American public were tied to the presidential election, Garamendi said. Both Republicans and Democrats played that out and it was bad for the country, he said.
“Now that the presidency has been determined, it’s in everybody’s interest to solve problems, to find middle ground,” Garamendi said.
Garamendi returns to Washington, D.C., Monday for the next congressional session that begins Tuesday. An immediate issue is dealing with the so-called “fiscal cliff” of automatic budget cuts and tax cut expirations to be triggered in January 2013 in the wake of Congress’ inability to agree on an alternative deficit-cutting deal.
Some economists say the unpopular automatic measures in the sequestration deal could drive the nation back into recession.
The fiscal cliff will be delayed, Garamendi predicted. While Congress has been very partisan, it is not irrational, he said. He pointed to the 2011 debt ceiling increase that came down to the eleventh hour.
“Ultimately, the rational thing was done,” Garamendi said. “We did not default on the debt. I think that will happen again.”
His own preference is to take care of the issue right now, Garamendi said. But Speaker of the House John Boehner has talked of delaying the “fiscal cliff” so the next Congress can handle it in 2013, he said.
Vann ran a tough campaign and he wishes her luck as she continues serving as a Colusa County supervisor, Garamendi said.
Vann in a Wednesday press release congratulated Garamendi.
“I am confident in the future of our state and our nation, and I will continue to be a strong advocate for Northern Californians and fight for the things that matter most,” Vann said.
Garamendi has represented Fairfield, Suisun City and Dixon since November 2009 as part of the 10th Congressional District. He initially served out former Rep. Ellen Tauscher’s remaining term and then won a two-year term of his own.
Redistricting in the wake of Census 2010 has put him into the 3rd Congressional District, which includes not only Fairfield, Suisun City and Dixon, but also Vacaville and Rio Vista. The 3rd District also includes parts or all of Colusa, Glenn, Lake, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.