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John Raymond Garamendi
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John Raymond Garamendi (born January 24, 1945) is a U.S. politician and a member of the Democratic Party. He became the 46th Lieutenant Governor of California on January 8, 2007. He had previously been the California State Insurance Commissioner from 2003–2007, having previously been the first occupant of that office from 1991–1995. He was the U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Interior from 1995–1998.
Born in Mokelumne Hill, California of Basque descent, 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. He served in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia from 1966 to 1968. Garamendi is an Eagle Scout and recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award. Garamendi is also a member of Sigma Chi, as a brother of the Alpha Beta Chapter at Berkeley.
Garamendi won election to the California State Assembly in 1974, representing most of Sacramento County as well as all or part of seven other counties to the east and south, and to the State Senate in 1976. He ran unsuccessfully in the 1982 Democratic gubernatorial primary, where he was defeated by Tom Bradley, and in the 1986 Democratic primary for California State Controller, when he lost to Gray Davis; but in 1990 he was successful in his campaign to become California's first Commissioner of Insurance, an office that brought him much controversy due to the state seizure of Executive Life Insurance Company, a bankruptcy that was coincidental with the creation of the state Department of Insurance and the American River College American College Testing Service (ACT) score Black Chalks deletion scandal.
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 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 had run to replace Garamendi as Insurance Commissioner.
Former Vice President Al Gore had endorsed Garamendi for Lt. Governor. Garamendi was also endorsed by the Sierra Club, the California Teachers Association, the California League of Conservation Voters, the Peace Officers Research Association of California, the California Professional Firefighters Association, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, to name a few.
In the June 6, 2006 Democratic primary, Garamendi defeated state senators Liz Figueroa and Jackie Speier, receiving 43% of the vote. The margin of votes between Garamendi and Speier was very tight during much of the election night, with each receiving about 40% of the vote, but in later returns Garamendi pulled ahead. In November 2006 he faced Republican Tom McClintock and several candidates from smaller political parties in the general election. California elects governors and lieutenant governors separately; state treasurer Phil Angelides was the Democratic nominee for Governor, but Garamendi could not, in any formal sense, be called Angelides' running mate. Garamendi was elected Lieutenant Governor with 49% of the vote to 45% for Tom McClintock.