August 18th, 2009
07:38 PM ET
9 years ago

Fiorina takes initial step to challenge Boxer

Fiorina is considering a run for the Senate .

Fiorina is considering a run for the Senate .

(CNN) - Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina is taking the initial steps to challenge California Democrat Barbara Boxer for her Senate seat, a move that could lay the groundwork for one of the most high profile and expensive contests of 2010.

Fiorina, the first woman to lead a Fortune 500 company and a former surrogate for John McCain's presidential bid, filed a tax identification number and registered a campaign committee with the IRS Tuesday called "Carly for California."

"The people of California have serious concerns about job creation, economic growth and the role of government in solving problems that touch each of ourlives," Fiorina said in a statement. "I have received a great deal of encouragement to make a run for the Senate in 2010 from people across the political spectrum because these are all issues that need focused attention in Washington, D.C."

Under the new committee, Fiorina will begin to aggressively raise money as well as speak with policy experts and campaign advisors, spokeswoman Beth Miller told CNN.

Boxer's campaign coffers are already loaded: the three-term senator's latest filing with the Federal Elections Commission shows she raised well over $2 million during the first half of the year and has close to $5.5 million cash on hand.

Though Fiorina does not have a set timetable to formally announce a Senate bid, Miller said the former Hewlett-Packard CEO's window to make a decision is only a couple of months given a GOP primary is set for next June.

A former economic adviser and visible presence on cable news, Fiorina was largely sidelined from public appearances from the McCain campaign after telling an interviewer she didn't think either member of the GOP presidential ticket was qualified to run a major company.

Democrats wasted little time in attacking Fiorina's latest move.

“This is a person who was fired from Hewlett Packard for running the company into the ground, fired from the McCain Presidential Campaign for incompetence, and now thinks the people of California are going to hire her," said Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman Eric Schultz.

Should she ultimately jump into the Senate race, Fiorina would be the second high-profile former CEO running for statewide office in California. Former e-Bay CEO Meg Whitman announced last month she was exploring a run for California governor.

Filed under: Barbara Boxer • Carly Fiorina • Extra
soundoff (270 Responses)
  1. Adam from Ohio

    Oh, boy! A rich-out-of-touch woman who ran HP into the ground and was ousted after spying on her company's board! Sounds like a GREAT pick!

    August 18, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  2. feel the heat

    Just what this country needs the only woman ever FIRED as CEO of a Fortune 500 company to be in the senate.

    August 18, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  3. Ever

    IT'S ON FIORINA! Boxer all the way!

    August 18, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  4. Stacy from Leesburg, VA

    I guess John McCain freed Carly Fiorina from GOP jail. Mrs. Fiorina should be running for Governor of California instead of Meg Whitman, because Mrs. Fiorina knows how to layoff people in large numbers. Only problem is that she has that reverse Midas touch...every thing she touches turns to....

    August 18, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  5. jim from the OC

    Bottomline, Boxer MUST go!!!!

    August 18, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  6. Right Leaning Independent

    Fired from HPand McCain's campaign... Sounds like she will fit in perfectly!!!

    August 18, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  7. kaleto

    I'd vote for Fiorina over Arnold. Although infinitely better than Grey-out Davis, Swarzenegger's turned out to be a big disappointment as governor. Of course, either one would be better than Brown-Nose Boxer!

    August 18, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  8. Scott

    The people of California deserve better than what Carly can bring to the Party. Please search committee, find us a better candidate.

    August 18, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  9. William in San Jose

    Carly Fiorina couldn't manage a 7/11, she's perfect for the Senate!

    August 18, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  10. Pedro A.

    Go Carly! She's got my vote. Boxer is arguably the nation's worst senator.

    August 18, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  11. Susan

    Fiorina lost my respect in the presidential election when she cried of sexism and poorly defended John McCain.

    She is just another Republican.

    August 18, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |

    Fiorina needs to stop being absurd. She should join Palin in Alaska. I am girl and I'm telling ya'll, these two chicks are weird.

    August 18, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  13. Alida

    Good. A lot of these politicians have been around WAY TOO LONG!

    August 18, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  14. obummer, 1 and done

    Go get her Carly.

    Be nice to have at least one intelligent woman from California in Congress.

    August 18, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  15. just.thomas

    May is better that if she has to waste all her money for election..

    August 18, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  16. Matt

    No, no, no, no and NO! I do NOT want another big shot in office. Believe me, I can't stand Sen. Boxer; but the replace her with another idiot is no good either. I'm blaming this all on Hewlett Packard's TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE, TERRRRRRIBLE customer service. I got screwed over by HP more than once – and if she is the former or current CEO of that crap company, than NO THANKS! Let's get a HARDWORKING American Citizen into office for a chance. I say they both can take a hike – we need a TRUE representation of the USA in office.

    August 18, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  17. Tracy

    Oh boy – if she reps the state of CA like she did HP (and I worked there while she was CEO her full yet thankfully short term) look out. Talk about someone who acted like a 'rock start' CEO - good luck to the people of CA (not a Boxer fan but Carly is not the person to replace her).

    August 18, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  18. Moderate Democrat

    "Fiorina, the first woman to lead a Fortune 500 company......................."

    Down a path that led to HUGE lay offs and a company wants to do the same to califronia by representing it in the Senate. California is already on a bad enough path, thanks to another (fellow) republican and ex-terminator, with out her absolute talent of destroying things.

    Thanks, but no thanks. We saw how you helped the employees of Hewlett Packard (jobless). We don't need you to further wreck California with your retarded republican competence level.

    August 18, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  19. STFU

    she has no chance beat Boxer. if this is the best GOP can do, well good luck. Her intention is not to help CA, only GOP and people of CA can see that. and oh yeah good luck to Meg too. hahahaha

    August 18, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  20. Kevin in Ohio

    Boxer has proven herself to be an elitist and a racist. Its high time she was challenged.

    August 18, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  21. Andy

    California is a state full of idiots, they deserve Boxer and the incompetents they have elected. Carly should not run, leave this state full of manure as it is.....

    August 18, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  22. daisy

    GOP motto: "Ethics are like, SO last century..."

    Dude...really??? I mean she fits in...but I thought the Repubs were trying to change their image?

    August 18, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  23. Greg Erie, PA

    Seriously? This woman ran HP into the ground, she's a crook and she wants a say on we should run the country? Say what you want about Boxer, but Fiorina couldn't run a computer company couldn't run a presidential campaign. Imagine the disaster with her as Senator. We'd be better of with Palin. I can't believe I said that.

    August 18, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  24. Gerald Donnelly

    Awesome, ANYTHING but Boxer. New blood is the only hope for the state.

    August 18, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  25. SD, Michigan

    HAHAHA! She left with a 40 million dollar golden parachute, and thinks greedy and disgraced CEO's are so "en vogue" right now with people struggling in the middle of a depression.
    No shame anymore.
    She couldn't run a pet store, now she's aiming for Senator...Jesus where have we ended up?! What's wrong with these people??

    August 18, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
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