Mike Huckabee backs Chuck DeVore in California's U.S. Senate race
Senate GOP candidate Chuck DeVore scored the endorsement of former Republican presidential contender Mike Huckabee on Wednesday – an announcement that his campaign hopes will help attract conservative support and help him catch up with his rivals in the race to unseat Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer.
The former Arkansas governor, in a statement, praised DeVore’s “clear pro-life record” and his 100% pro-life rating from the Capitol Resource Institute in Sacramento. “We need people like Chuck DeVore in the U.S. Senate, because he’ll work to bring some common sense back to Washington,” Huckabee said in a release from DeVore’s campaign.
“He has a substantive network of grassroots supporters and activists across California,” said DeVore’s spokesman Josh Treviño. “We think the Huckabee endorsement is a message to conservatives in this state that … Chuck DeVore is the only real conservative in the race.”
Despite his appeal to conservatives, the Orange County assemblyman has trailed former Rep. Tom Campbell and Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, in fundraising. Fiorina and Campbell raised $1.7 million and $1.6 million, respectively, in the first three months of this year, while DeVore reported raising $626,000.
Huckabee bowed out of the 2008 Republican primary race after John McCain clinched the delegates needed to win the Republican nomination in March. But the former governor maintained a strong following among social conservatives across the country. His political action committee, Huck Pac, reported $232,787 in cash on hand at the end of March in a filing with the Federal Election Commission. Reports show that over the last year, Huckabee’s group contributed $33,500 to other campaign committees, including $4,500 to Florida GOP Senate candidate Marco Rubio.
McCain has backed Fiorina, who served as an advisor to his 2008 campaign. The Arizona senator, who praised Fiorina as a role model during his campaign, held two fundraisers for her in early April. Mitt Romney, the former Republican presidential contender who recently announced that his Free & Strong America political action committee raised more than $1.6 million in the first quarter, has not endorsed a candidate in the California Senate race.
Earlier this week, Fiorina won the endorsement of the Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund, a group that supports female candidates who oppose abortion. The group’s president, Marjorie Dannenfelser, said “from a pro-woman, pro-life perspective, there could be no greater contrast” between Fiorina and Boxer. Campbell, who has led Fiorina and DeVore in recent polls, supports abortion rights.
-- Maeve Reston