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Fiorina's Senate bid gets a boost as U.S. Chamber of Commerce backs the GOP nominee

August 9, 2010 | 10:05 am

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Monday endorsed Republican U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina, who is setting out on a two-day, six-stop tour of California to highlight the group’s backing and aspects of her economic agenda.

Bill Miller, the U.S. Chamber’s senior vice president and national political director, said in a statement that the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive “understands the challenges businesses are facing and will stand up for the people of California during these tough economic times.”

“On issues ranging from competition in the healthcare industry, to lowering taxes, to reducing energy costs, California’s businesses and workers will have a tireless advocate in Carly Fiorina,” said Miller, who will be traveling with Fiorina on Monday in Southern California and the Central Valley.

The chamber, which has been building a broad grassroots network, has signaled that it intends to play a major role in this year’s midterm elections -- more than doubling its spending on congressional elections from $35 million in 2008 to at least $75 million this year.

Fiorina’s race against incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) is one of 10 Senate races that the group is focused on, along with 40 House races. Though the chamber has not said how much they plan to spend in the Fiorina-Boxer race, the group’s backing could be a major boon to Fiorina. At the end of the last reporting period on June 30, Boxer had nearly 12 times more cash on hand than Fiorina.

-- Maeve Reston