Former HP boss Carly Fiorina is joining ex-eBay CEO Meg Whitman as one-time tech executives seeking public office in California. Fiorina, a Republican, will challenge three-term incumbent Barbara Boxer in 2010. Fiorina, who left HP in 2006, said job creation, government spending and health care will be top issues for her campaign.She also addressed her spotty voting record, saying she was wrong not to participate in the political process.
Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina made official her bid for a seat in the U.S. Senate.
In a column in the Orange Country Register
California Nov. 4, Fiorina said the key issues of her campaign would be
job growth and government spending, saying that she "will not settle
for a jobless recovery. And we can start the important work
of getting our financial house back in order by demanding to know
where our money is being spent."
Fiorina's official declaration of her candidacy follows months of
speculation that she would take on three-term incumbent Barbara Boxer,
D-Calif., in 2010. Her top primary rival would be California
Assemblyman Chuck DeVore.
Fiorina joins Meg Whitman, former CEO of eBay, as ex-high-tech executives seeking statewide office
in California. Whitman is running for governor, looking to replace
Gov. Arnold Schwarzeneggar when his second term ends in 2011. Both
candidates are looking to gain political office in a state wracked with
billions of dollars of debt and a fractured legislative system.
In her newspaper column, Fiorina, a Republican, took shots at
Boxer's legislative record as well as the Obama administration's
spending and health care reform measures.
Speaking of Boxer, Fiorina said that during the incumbent's 18 years
in the Senate, she had gotten three laws enacted, only two of which
were for California projects-a courthouse in Fresno and money to repair
bridges in the San Francisco area.
"One piece of real work in 18 years isn't much of a track record," Fiorina said. "That's not good enough for California."
She also criticized what she called President Obama's "tax, borrow
and spend" philosophy. In addition, Fiorina, who just completed
treatment for breast cancer, said Obama and Congress should build on
what works in the nation's health care system-for example, growing
access to health clinics for people to receive care at a reasonable
cost and reforming malpractice laws-rather than pursue a costly
Fiorina also addressed a key criticism that's been leveled at her by
critics and her opponent-her spotty voting record in New Jersey and
California. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Fiorina has voted
in only five of 18 national and state elections since registering to
vote in California in 2000.
"Admittedly, I have not always been engaged in the electoral
process, and I should have been," she said. "For many years I felt
disconnected from the decisions made in Washington and, to be honest,
really didn't think my vote mattered because I didn't have a direct
line of sight from my vote to a result. I realize that thinking was
Fiorina comes to the campaign with a long business resume but little
political experience. She ran HP for about six years, including
overseeing the company's acquisition of Compaq Computer. However,
during her time, HP's stock numbers fell, she battled with the board of
directors and was criticized for being long on vision but short on
Her political experience amounts in large part to being a
high-profile proxy for Sen. John McCain in his bid for the presidency,
although she eventually was dismissed from the campaign after conflicts