California's 10th congressional district special election, 2009 was held on November 3, 2009, to fill the vacancy caused in California's 10th congressional district by the resignation of Ellen Tauscher. Democratic Party candidate John Garamendi won against Republican opponent David Harmer.
On May 5, 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Democratic Representative Ellen Tauscher for the position of Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. She was confirmed by the United States Senate on June 26 and subsequently resigned from her congressional seat.
Following her resignation, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger called a special election. An open primary among candidates of all political parties took place on September 1, 2009; if one candidate had won a majority of the votes, he or she would have won the seat with no further action. As that didn't occur, the general election took place on November 3, 2009 between the candidates with the most votes for each party.
The following individuals appeared in the certified list of candidates and the certified list of write-in candidates published by the Secretary of State of California, and were thus eligible to receive votes in the special primary election.
|Poll source||Date||John Garamendi||David Harmer||Other|
|Survey USA||October 26-28, 2009||50%||40%||6%|
Since no candidate won a majority in the September 1, 2009, open primary, the candidates with the top votes for each party advanced to the special general election. Garamendi won more votes than any other Democrat and Harmer more than any Republican. Denham, Cloward, and McIlroy were the only candidates from their parties so they advanced the general election by default.
|American Independent||Jerome Denham||309||0.29|
|Peace and Freedom||Mary McIlroy||272||0.25|
|Democratic||Tiffany Attwood (write-in)||2||0.00|
|Peace and Freedom||Mary McIlroy||1,846||1.34|
|American Independent||Jerome Denham||1,591||1.15|