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Santa Monica businessman to challenge Dianne Feinstein

January 24, 2012 |  1:47 pm

Dianne FeinsteinAnother  Republican has joined the short list of mostly little-known people willing to take on Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) this  year.

Telecommunications professional Al Ramirez of Santa Monica, 43, announced on Tuesday he’s running and wants to be “California’s first Hispanic U.S. senator."

Ramirez, who said he’s spent some 20 years in sales and network development, ran unsuccessfully for the GOP nomination in 2010. That was the year that Republican nominee Carly Fiorina lost to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)

This time he believes his prospects are better, in part because he has more political experience and “better relationships” with state Republican Party leaders, Ramirez said.  He also cited Feinstein’s low approval rating in a recent Field Poll.

Another  announced candidate to challenge the 78-year-old Feinstein are autistic children’s advocate Elizabeth Emken of Danville, who ran unsuccessfully for the  GOP’s nomination  in a 2010 congressional race.

Some pundits  and GOP leaders have publicly lamented Feinstein’s lack of substantial opposition as she makes plans to seek a fourth six-year term and have floated several names of Republican office-holders they’d like to see run.   

House GOP leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield  recently suggested that Rep. David Dreier (R-San Dimas), whose district was decimated in last summer’s political maps redrawing, would be a good candidate against Feinstein.  No word from Dreier, who has yet to announce his political plans.


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-- Jean Merl

Photo: Sen. Dianne Feinstein

Credit: Chicago Tribune