by Daniel B. Wood
Carly Fiorina is emerging as a potential GOP challenger for the US Senate seat of Bay Area liberal Barbara Boxer next year, and the prospect has energized the California Republican Party.
Not yet an official candidate, Ms. Fiorina is the former CEO of Hewlett Packard (HP) and was an economic adviser to Sen. John McCain’s presidential bid last year. Like Meg Whitman, who just announced her campaign for governor, Fiorina is a newcomer to politics with very deep pockets. She has registered a campaign committee that reportedly had a strong presence at the state GOP convention this past weekend in Indian Wells, Calif.
Her candidacy to unseat Ms. Boxer, now in her third term in the Senate and who has never faced a female opponent in the general election, would turn the election into one of the most-closely watched Senate races for 2010.
“Fiorina would certainly skyrocket the attention paid to the 2010 Senate race,” says Jessica Levinson, political analyst for the Center for Governmental Studies (CGS). “Her candidacy is symbolically important for the GOP. It puts a new, younger female face on the party.”
Fiorina is the only woman to lead a Fortune 20 company. She led HP through the dot-com bust, a recession, and a controversial merger with Compaq Computer Corporation.
“For the first time since (former GOP Gov.) Pete Wilson’s 1994 campaign, I feel a sense of ‘we’ in the Republican Party,” said Rep. Darrell Issa to the San Francisco Chronicle after the three-day convention.
Fifty-three percent of California voters are women and the state GOP here has rarely fielded female candidates for high office.
“Fiorina could give Boxer her toughest campaign so far. Along with Meg Whitman, this could return some women to the Republican fold,” says Robert Stern, president of CGS.
To read the entire piece, please visit: http://features.csmonitor.com/politics/2009/09/28/gops-next-hope-to-unseat-barbara-boxer-carly-fiorina/