June 9th, 2010
07:28 AM ET
11 years ago

GOP picks two women to head California ticket

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/09/art.fiorinawin.gi.jpg caption =" Carly Fiorina celebrates winning the GOP nomination for Senate."]

Los Angeles, California (CNN) – California Republicans nominated two women Tuesday to lead their political ticket in November, bringing an end to two bruising GOP primary battles for governor and Senate.

Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman easily defeated state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner in the race for the GOP gubernatorial nomination. She faces state Attorney General Jerry Brown, a former governor, in the general election.

"It has been a tough campaign, but I'm a stronger candidate tonight because of it,” she said. “I'm battle-tested now. And I'm ready to give Jerry Brown the toughest election fight he's faced in his 40 years of politics."

Whitman poured more than $71 million of her own funds into the primary race and has said she was prepared to put in as much as $150 million to win the office. Whitman ran a hard-hitting media campaign in an effort to paint Poizner as liberal, and is expected to continue this aggressive approach with Brown. He easily captured the Democratic nomination.

"To serve again would be a deep honor," said Brown, who added that he would be the best equipped to help solve the state's economic troubles.

Whitman immediately went on the attack saying that when Brown was governor, state spending and unemployment increased.

Whitman, who came under assault from Poizner for not supporting Arizona’s controversial immigration law, sought to run a moderate campaign. In recent weeks, public polling showed that she was leading in the race. The former eBay CEO emphasized her business background as key to helping the state solve its unemployment and deficit problems. She has been criticized for dealings she had with Goldman Sachs and for failing to vote in elections for several decades.

The winner will succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In the contest for Senate, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina easily captured the GOP nomination. She defeated former Rep. Tom Campbell, and Assemblyman Chuck DeVore. Campbell was considered a centrist Republican, while DeVore was the favorite of many Tea Party activists in the state.

Fiorina, who was running on a conservative platform, will face three-term Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, who some political analysts say is vulnerable in this difficult year for incumbents. Fiorina and Boxer already started criticizing one another in recent days as it became increasingly clear that this would be the fall match-up.

Fiorina accused Boxer of not having the right economic solutions to help the state as well as being too liberal. "In her 28 years as a career politician in Washington, D.C., Barbara Boxer is a bitter partisan," Fiorina said Tuesday night. "Barbara Boxer is the perfect example why we must return to citizen government."

Boxer sought to highlight Fiorina’s troubled tenure at HP during an interview with CNN. "Before she got fired she fired 30,000 people sent their jobs to India and China,” Boxer said. “That is tough for her. That is a record she has.”

If Fiorina or Whitman wins in November, it would be the first time a Republican woman won a state-wide contest in California since 1970.

The election, which saw a very light turnout, was marked by a large number of mail-in ballots, which is an increasingly popular method of voting in the state.

Also, California voters on Tuesday approved an initiative that would overhaul how primaries for statewide and Congressional elections are run in the state. Instead of candidates from each party running in separate primaries and the winners facing off in a general election, Proposition 14 would have all candidates run together in a first round of voting. The two top vote getters would then compete in the general election.

Supporters of Prop 14 include Schwarzenegger and the lieutenant governor who argued that the measure would open up the process by giving voters more choice by not restricting them just to party line choices. In a strange bedfellow type of situation, this proposition united both political parties in opposition saying voters' choices would be limited and it would give more power to special interests.

Filed under: 2010 • California • Jerry Brown • Meg Whitman
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. dee

    Yeah latch on to her purse. Its all a lost cause. Who pockets that 71 million? Just wonderin. GET OUT AND VOTE DEMS!!!!

    June 9, 2010 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  2. Orlando r.

    Whitman shouldnt be criticizing Brown. She herself knows she will be defeated. Boxer will easily win re-election. And prop 14 was a huge mistake,many people are gullible. But this november should be interesting!

    June 9, 2010 03:03 am at 3:03 am |
  3. Marie MD

    At least e-Bay made money – the Maude look alike almost drowned her old company HP.
    I hope the people in California wake up in November!

    June 9, 2010 06:21 am at 6:21 am |
  4. mike

    if a republican wins the election the bottom line the voters in that state
    are going to suffer they want to cut the budget but there is a limit
    if we as a country are in a global economy then are focus has to be
    on education and as long as we keep cutting it there will be no
    education to countries like china this is not about the money we owe but the power they want and that is education remember education
    means the future not on how much we owe

    June 9, 2010 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  5. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I have mixed feelings about these self financed candidates. First is that they don't have to worry about conflicts by those that donate to their campaigns since it was all themselves; to me that can be good. The bad side is that most of the people are loons that haven't a clue as how government works and think they can rule it like they were the CEO that they were fired from being. What are these people thinking?

    June 9, 2010 06:57 am at 6:57 am |