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McCain to campaign for Fiorina in GOP Senate primary [Updated]

April 5, 2010 | 12:00 pm

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is headed West on Tuesday to stump and raise money for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina. Consider it payback -- Fiorina was a campaign surrogate and economic adviser who helped McCain reach out to voters during his unsuccessful 2008 presidential run.

Fiorina, the former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard, had an uneven run as a surrogate and made several gaffes that McCain’s campaign had to walk back. She was sidelined after she told a radio host in September 2008 that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, McCain’s vice-presidential pick, lacked the experience to lead a major corporation. She later clarified her remarks by adding that McCain and then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) were also unqualified to run a company, which didn’t really help the situation.

This election cycle, both Fiorina and McCain are facing tough primaries.

Fiorina, in her first bid for elected office, is jockeying for the lead with former U.S. Rep. Tom Campbell in the race to be the GOP nominee to take on Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer in the fall. Orange County Assemblyman Chuck DeVore is trailing in the polls.

McCain, who has represented Arizona in the U.S. Senate since 1987, is facing a tough challenge from the right from former Congressman J.D. Hayworth.

Fiorina and McCain will visit DeVore’s hometown of Irvine Tuesday morning. They will tour Affinity Medical Technologies before making remarks and taking questions from attendees. McCain will also hold fundraisers for Fiorina in Orange County and Los Angeles.

[Updated at 12:25 p.m.: An earlier version of this post said McCain would be endorsing Fiorina on Tuesday. In fact, McCain announced his endorsement when she announced her candidacy in November. On Tuesday, he will be campaigning for her for the first time.]

-- Seema Mehta