Congressman Garamendi announces re-election in California’s newly redrawn 8th District which includes northern Contra Costa

The new 8th Congressional District with the portion of Antioch inside the district in red and showing the location of Walnut Grove (right) where Garamendi lives. Source:

Former California State Assemblyman, State Senator, two-time Insurance Commissioner, and Lt. Governor

District includes northern half of Antioch

Rep. John Garamendi. Official photo.

Contra Costa and Solano Counties – Following the release of the final district maps by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission on Monday, Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA) announced, that day, he is running for re-election in the newly redrawn 8th Congressional District of California. The district now includes most of Solano County and the northern, waterfront portions of Contra Costa County from Antioch to Richmond.

Garamendi has served in Congress since 2009 and represented Contra Costa and Solano Counties during his tenure, which are included in CA-08. Prior to his election to Congress, Garamendi served in the California Assembly and Senate, twice as California’s elected Insurance Commissioner, as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior under President Bill Clinton, and as California’s Lieutenant Governor. Garamendi also served in the Peace Corps with his wife, Patti Garamendi. The two have raised six children who share their commitment to public service. They also have 13 grandchildren.

“The 760,000 residents of the 8th Congressional District want a proven progressive who will fight for them every single day. That’s exactly what I’ve done my entire tenure in Congress, and that’s what I’ll continue to do. That’s why, today, I’m kicking off my re-election campaign for Congress,” Garamendi said.

Although he lives in Walnut Grove, in the newly redrawn 7th Congressional District, where both Representatives Doris Matsui and Ami Bera also live, members of the House of Representatives aren’t required to live in the district they represent. They’re only required to live in the same state. The 76-year-old Garamendi currently represents most of Solano County in the 3rd Congressional District and previously represented Antioch and other portions of Contra Costa County in the then-10th District, from 2009 to 2013.

“When our economy is strong, America is strong. In Congress, I fight every day for a fairer economy that works for middle class families, not just those at the very top,” the congressman stated.

“We know the economy can’t move if people can’t move. That’s why I helped champion the Infrastructure and Jobs Act—the largest investment in our infrastructure ever—and secured an $86 million grant to expand lanes on I-80 and reduce traffic,” Garamendi continued. “We know that a strong middle class is the bedrock of our nation. That’s why I fought for the American Rescue Plan, which combatted the COVID-19 pandemic, created the largest tax cut for the middle class ever, put students safely back in school, and helped create over 6 million new jobs for hardworking families.”

The new 8th Congressional District map. Source:

First elected to public office in 1974 as a member of the State Assembly, then the State Senate in 1976, Garamendi was elected California Insurance Commissioner in 1990. From 1995 to 2003 he served as the Deputy Secretary of the Interior during the Clinton Administration. In 2002 he was elected, again as Insurance Commissioner, then Lieutenant Governor in 2006. Garamendi was first elected to Congress in a special election in 2009.

“We know that Americans deserve universal paid family leave, affordable housing, cheaper prescription drugs, universal healthcare, cleaner air and water, affordable education, and a free and just society. That’s why I’ve helped champion these efforts in Congress and voted to make this attainable for every American,” he shared.

“All of this and more is what we achieved in 2021 alone, and we are just getting started. I have devoted my life to public service, and I will continue fighting for you every day. That’s why I’m announcing my re-election campaign for Congress in the 8th district. I want to continue fighting for a bold, progressive, and transformative vision of America—and I would be honored to have your support,” Garamendi concluded.

According to his Wikipedia page, Garamendi was born in 1945 in Camp Blanding, Florida, and was raised in Mokelumne Hill, California. His paternal grandparents were Basque immigrants from Spain and his mother was of half Irish and half Italian ancestry. Garamendi received a degree in business from U.C. Berkeley, where he was a football player and wrestler, and a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School. He served in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia from 1966 to 1968. Garamendi is an Eagle Scout and a member of Sigma Chi, as a brother of the Alpha Beta Chapter at Berkeley.

Below is an overview of Garamendi’s priorities and recent achievements in Congress. More information is available at

A Champion for Working Families

Congressman Garamendi believes that every American has a right to a good-paying job, and he fights every day in Congress to build a strong middle class. In 2021 alone, Garamendi fought for:

  • The Largest Middle Class Tax Cut in History: Congressman Garamendi secured an Expanded Child Tax Credit that cuts taxes for middle class familiesin our region by $3,000 per year on average and lifts half of all children out of poverty. This helps families put food on the table, purchase school supplies, cover rent, pay down debts, support the local economy, and make ends meet.
  • Universal Pre-K & Affordable College: Garamendi voted to establish a universal pre-K program for all children. He also successfully led the effort in Congress to expand the Pell Grant to help millions of students attend community college of a four-year university without significant student loan debt.
  • Paid Family Leave: America is the only major nation without a national paid family leave program, and Garamendi thinks this is unconscionable. That’s why Congressman Garamendi voted to create America’s first ever universal paid family leave program to ensure no family must choose between caring for their newborn or receiving their paycheck.
  • New Affordable Housing: We know that California’s housing prices are out of control and working families are losing more of their paychecks to rent or mortgage payments. Garamendi knows that this forces middle class families to make the impossible choice between paying their rent or supporting their healthcare and education. That’s why Garamendi voted to create 1 million new affordable rental homes and cut taxes for the middle class to help cover rent and mortgage payments.
  • A Fighter for Stronger, Climate-Resilient Infrastructure

Congressman Garamendi knows that the economy can’t move if people can’t move. As he works to represent us, he sees that traffic on I-80 is bumper-to-bumper, Highway 4 has too many potholes, and public transportation needs to be improved and expanded.

Many elected officials simply talk about rebuilding our infrastructure, but John Garamendi acts. In 2021, Congressman Garamendi helped design the new Infrastructure and Jobs Act and enact it into law. Through that, Garamendi helped secure:

  • $25 billion to rebuild California’s roads and bridges. This will create 1.5 million new jobs every year, which will go to middle class families and include strong wages and benefits.
  • $9.45 billion to improve California’s public transportation.
  • $86 million to expand lanes on I-80 and reduce traffic.
  • $65 billion to build a new power grid and provide affordable electricity and increase fire safety.
  • $50 billion for drought relief.
  • $55 billion to replace every lead water pipe in America.
  • Expand Make it in America and Buy America requirements to ensure we rebuild our infrastructure using American Materials and workers.

Additionally, Garamendi helped expand BART services into Contra Costa County. He also authored and passed the “Ocean Shipping Reform Act” in the U.S. House of Representatives to fight inflation, address the supply chain crisis, and support American businesses and jobs.

All the infrastructure improvements Garamendi helped secure will be built to withstand the impacts of climate change. They will also help reduce pollution to ensure the air we breathe and the water we drink is clean for all.

A Supporter of Medicare for All and a Green New Deal

Congressman Garamendi served as California’s first ever elected Insurance Commissioner. There, he

  • Introduced and passed the first universal healthcare plan anywhere in America. His plan was adopted by President Bill Clinton and used as a national.
  • Fought against redlining and other unfair insurance practices to protect consumers.
  • Now, in Congress Garamendi is a champion for Medicare for All. Congressman Garamendi believes healthcare is a basic human right, and he won’t stop fighting until every American has universal healthcare coverage.

Congressman Garamendi also believes that climate change is the defining issue of our time. We know that California’s fire season is now 12-months, droughts are more frequent and severe, and our coats are threatened by sea level rise. Garamendi has shown a lifelong commitment to saving our planet from the climate crisis and ensuring clean water and air is available for our children. In Congress he’s fighting for:

  • A Green New Deal that provides historic relief to combat the climate crisis, create millions of good-paying union jobs, and establish a renewable energy economy for the future.
  • $555 billion in clean energy and climate investments—the largest single investment in climate resiliency in American history.
  • Clean energy tax credits to promote wind and solar energy. Garamendi authored the first ever California renewable energy tax credit as a member of the California Assembly.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

the attachments to this post:

CD 8 with Antioch in red & Walnut Grove

8th CD map


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