Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina brought her campaign for the U.S. Senate in the June 8 California primary to Pleasanton, promising that if elected she would work to hold the line on federal regulations and taxes while working to focus the Senate's attention on incentives for the private sector—not Washington—to create jobs for Americans.
In her bid to unseat Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer next year, Fiorina, 55, said her business experience makes her the GOP candidate best able to defeat Democrat Senator Barbara Boxer in next year's general election.
She said increased federal spending and record-high deficits were sapping the financial strength of the country and adding to the long-term tax obligations for all Americans. She vowed to never vote for any tax increase as a senator and to focus her energies on job-creation, "which is the No. 1 concern in this country today."
She said Boxer has no understanding of the needs of the private sector, has never met a payroll and that in her 13 years as a senator has only seen three of her co-sponsored bills passed into law.
Her remarks were made at an invitation-only presentation at Goal Line Productions in Hacienda Business Park, which was sponsored by the Tri-Valley Business Council. The same organization also sponsored a campaign stop by California gubernatorial candidate and Republican Meg Whitman two months ago.
More than 150 filled Goal Line's large production studio with Mayor Abram Wilson of San Ramon the most prominent local official to attend. No elected leaders from Pleasanton, Dublin or Livermore attended, although Anne White of the Livermore school board joined the meeting. Several from the Danville town council were on the invitation list, including Mayor Newell Arnerich, but none stood up to be recognized when the business council's executive director Toby Brink introduced them.
Fiorina surprised some at the rally who had not seen her since her surgery last March and subsequent treatments for breast cancer. With her hair cropped short compared to her pre-cancer campaign photos given out at the Goal Line reception desk, she talked about her "crazy hair-do," adding that after nine months of chemotherapy, "Barbara Boxer just isn't that scary."
"She has always taken the low road to higher office, so get ready," said added. "But it's OK, I can take a punch and I can throw a punch."
Boxer has the edge in Democratic-leaning California, but Fiorina's entry means that she could face her greatest challenge since first elected to the Senate in 1992. That's of course if the charismatic former business leader wins the GOP nomination in June.
So far, her only opponent is Chuck Devore, 47, of Irvine, a long-term conservative. Well-known in state GOP circles, he has little name recognition across the state and lacks the financial campaign war chest that Fiorina brings to the race.