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The Service Employees International Union's state council today endorsed LT. Gov. John Garamendi to represent California's 10th District in the U.S. Congress.

The powerful union umbrella group said it's backing Garamendi because he's a "champion for universal health care, higher education, and economic opportunity."

SEIU state council executive director Courtni Pugh cited Garamendi's "lifelong support for working families," displayed when he was first a California legislator (1974-1988), then twice as insurance commissioner and now lieutenant governor.

The 10th District seat will soon be up for grabs in a special election triggered by the appointment of current Rep. Ellen Tauscher, a veteran Democrat, as undersecretary of state for arms control and international security.  The Senate approved Tauscher's appointment last week.

The 10th District district stretches from San Francisco's east bay area to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

The SEIU says it has more than 700,000 state and local government members across California who work in all 58 counties, including social workers, nurses, classroom aides, security officers, college professors, homecare workers, and janitors.



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