Today at 1 p.m., live online, California Assemblyman Chuck DeVore will announce his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat in California currently held by Barbara Boxer. You can see the announcement live here.
I spoke to Chuck DeVore earlier this week and found him to be a breath of fresh air, particularly following the recent election. He is an unashamed conservative who has been on the front lines fighting against tax increases proposed by Republican Governor Schwarzenegger and the Democrats in California. He is beginning his run early because he wants to build a statewide organization that taps into the “grassroots army” and utilizes new media. He will need that much time to mount a competitive campaign in the large state in order to raise the money and put in the time on the road to travel all over California. DeVore has utilized the new media in his state office and “gets it” when it comes to the importance of blogs and talk radio and other forms of new media to running for office today.
He has run extremely effective campaigns in his district, winning by wide margins. DeVore pointed out what many outside of California (including me) probably don’t know — that a California Assembly seat is the fourth largest in the nation in number of constituents represented. He currently represents over 500,000 people.
I asked him why he thinks he can beat Barbara Boxer in the blue state of California and he makes a persuasive argument. He pointed to several factors. 2010 will be the first off year election in a new president’s first term. Typically these are not kind to the office in power, which should work in his favor He also pointed to Boxer’s vulnerabilities. Although Sen. Diane Feinstein is about as liberal, Barbara Boxer is seen as more partisan and extreme and is less popular than Feinstein.
In an election where voters are likely to be voting their pocketbooks, Boxer’s record of opposing nuclear energy and supporting tax increases should also help DeVore, who has a strong record of fighting against high taxes and for energy independence. If national security is a major issue in 2010, DeVore has a military background that will serve him well, especially in contrast to Boxer’s consistently liberal, often anti-defense, record. DeVore will be running on a clear, strong conservative message (unlike some recent unsuccessful GOP candidates). I will have more from my interview with Chuck DeVore later this week as part of a piece looking at the conservative movement following the 2008 election.
There has been a good bit of speculation over the past year that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will run in the 2010 race against Boxer. DeVore told me that he would welcome a primary match up with Schwarzenegger, who is not exactly popular among California Republicans these days due to the tax issue among others.
You can support Chuck DeVore for Senate financially here. He told me Barbara Boxer can be expected to have 15 to 20 million dollars spent to get her re-elected and said he needs an absolute minimum of 10 million to be competitive, so he can use all the help he can get. You can also support DeVore on Facebook and by signing up at his campaign website.