** ADVANCE FOR SUNDAY OCT. 8, 2006 ** FILE ** Former Hewlett-Packard Chairwoman and CEO Carly Fiorina smiles during an address the Center of Women's Leadership at Babson College in a Wellesley, Mass. file photo Sept. 15, 2006. Fiorina's six years at the helm of Hewlett-Packard Co. followed an uncannily cinematic arc. A restless ex-teacher and receptionist becomes a master sales rep for Ma Bell, then rises higher in business than any woman before her. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)
Fiorina ended months of speculation Wednesday with an announcement in an opinion piece she wrote for the Orange County Register. She's scheduled to make a formal announcement later in the day. She addresses one her harshest criticisms right off the bat in the piece:
Admittedly, I have not always been engaged in the electoral process, and I should have been. 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.
The former Silicon Valley exec says was motivated to become involved in politics partly because her time as the CEO of HP made her realize how decisions made in the U.S. Senate impact families.
The piece goes into what her priorities as a senator would be: creating jobs, cutting government spending and expanding access to health care -- but not through a national health care system. She says that as a cancer survivor, health care reform is "close to my heart."
Her entry into the race could present Boxer with her most formidable re-election challenge, but Fiorina first would have to survive a Republican primary against state Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, who has worked feverishly over the past year to court GOP voters. She took the first formal steps to bout Boxer in August, when she launched her campaign committee "Carly for California."
Fiorina, 55, was economic adviser to John McCain's failed presidential bid last year. She received a $21 million severance package when Hewlett-Packard's board fired her in 2005. That money would make her a formidable challenger to Boxer.