Open Thread for Tuesday
Born in Mokelumne Hill, California, Garamendi received a Bachelor's degree in business from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School.
Garamendi won election to the California State Assembly in 1974 and to the State Senate in 1976. Garamendi ran unsuccessfully in the 1982 Democratic gubernatorial primary, but in 1990 was successful in his campaign to become California's first Commissioner of Insurance.
Instead of seeking re-election to the Insurance Commissioner's office in 1994, Garamendi ran for Governor of California but lost the Democratic primary by 15% to State Treasurer Kathleen Brown, who in turn lost the general election by 15% to incumbent Republican Governor Pete Wilson.
Shortly thereafter, President Bill Clinton appointed Garamendi to serve as Deputy Secretary of the Interior, the second-highest post in the U.S. Department of the Interior.
After four years in the private sector, Garamendi won election to a second term as Insurance Commissioner by less than 5%. Seven months into his term as Insurance Commissioner, on August 7, 2003, Garamendi announced his candidacy for Governor in the gubernatorial recall election but dropped out two days later in favor of Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante.
Halfway through his term as Insurance Commissioner, on July 16, 2004, Garamendi announced his candidacy for the 2006 race to replace the term-limited Bustamante as Lieutenant Governor. Bustamante is running to replace Garamendi as Insurance Commissioner. Former Vice President Al Gore has endorsed Garamendi for Lt. Governor in his only 2006 election endorsement.
Garamendi is married and has six children. His wife, Patti, ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Congress in 1992 against Republican Representative Richard Pombo.