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California's political fire season underway: Carly Fiorina files to explore 2010 dump Boxer bid

August 18, 2009 |  3:33 pm

Carly Fiorina, the 54-year-old businesswoman who was a ubiquitous spokeswoman for Sen. John McCain's doomed Republican presidential campaign last year, filed papers today to explore her own campaign next year to unseat California Democratic incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer.

Former Hewlett-Packard head Carly Fiorina was a prominent surrogate speaker for GOP presidential candidate Arizona Senator John McCain in 2008 The move, obtaining a tax registration number and establishing a committee named "Carly for California," allows her to legally raise money for such an effort in one of the most politically expensive states in the country.

In a written statement, the former head of Hewlett-Packard said Californians have "serious concerns about job creation, economic growth and the role of government in solving problems that touch each of our lives."

Sounds like concerns that could apply these days to pretty much any state.

Personal wealth is a good thing if you're in California politics. Fiorina is that -- in California and wealthy.

She'll begin fundraising and meeting with advisors immediately. If Fiorina proceeds, most likely a foregone conclusion, she'll face Chuck DeVore, a state assemblyman from Irvine, in the Republican senate primary next June.

If successful, her bid could make for a heated statewide race between two outspoken women. A three-term Brooklyn native, Boxer has made headlines in recent months with what many regarded as unusually peremptory comments in Senate committee hearings, including dressing down an Army general for calling her "Ma'am" instead of senator.

And she had a verbal confrontation with a black business association leader, as The Ticket reported here.

In 2010, the nation's most populous state will also be convulsed by 53 House races and a statewide gubernatorial battle to replace term-limited Arnold Schwarzenegger.

There, another wealthy businesswoman, Meg Whitman of EBay fame, is facing State Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner in the GOP primary, along with Tom Campbell, Schwarzenegger's former finance director. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is already running on the Democratic side, expected to be joined by ex-governor, ex-mayor and current state Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown.

Linda Ronstadt has not yet filed for any office.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Associated Press