Sen. Barbara Boxer, right, speaks as Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, left, listens during a public hearing on the contentious issue of offshore oil drilling, in San Francisco, Thursday, April 16, 2009. Environmentalists, lawmakers and others packed the forum, the last of four such meetings around the country with U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. Boxer drew cheers as she opened the hearing expressing her opposition to offshore drilling. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Senator Barbara Boxer, 69, is a three-term incumbent who is formerly a member of Congress and Supervisor from Marin County. She is chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and is considered to be one of the most liberal members of the Senate.
She has successfully courted Silicon Valley executives because of her careful attention to Valley issues, including Research and Development tax credits and the H1-B visa program.
Boxer’s success over the past 18 years has been assisted, in part, by ultra-conservative opponents who knocked out moderates in the Republican party.
She could be in trouble in 2010, when incumbents in so many states are on the ropes because of a bad economy. A statewide Field poll conducted in March 2009 found 43 percent of those surveyed inclined to vote for Boxer in the fall, compared with 44 percent who opposed reelection.
Boxer has taken this concern seriously; as of January 2010, she had $7.2 million in the bank, compared with $5 million at the same time in 2004.