Fiorina scorns Boxer at local fundraiser

Priding herself on not being a career politician, Carly Fiorina told local Republicans on Thursday that if she unseats U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer in this fall’s election, she will push to limit federal spending and advocate for policies to create jobs and improve the economy.

“Unlike Barbara Boxer, I will do good instead of harm and create jobs for unemployed Californians, clear regulations that tax small businesses, stop sending citizens’ money to Washington and attack the half-trillion dollar documented waste,” Fiorina said at a Lincoln Club of San Luis Obispo County dinner fundraiser at the Holland Ranch in the Edna Valley.

The former Hewlett-Packard Co. chairwoman and chief executive joined the Senate race in November and hopes to unseat the Democrat Boxer if she wins the Republican primary.

Since entering the race, Fiorina has raised $1.1 million from donors and donated $2.5 million of her personal fortune to her campaign.

At Thursday evening’s event, Fiorina introduced herself and shook hands with attendees as she mingled among the crowd at the ranch, which was adorned with American flag tablecloths, horseshoes and Republican stickers and pins.

Attendees paid $250 per person for a VIP reception or $25 per person for a general reception. Donors had the option of sponsoring Fiorina’s campaign or the Republican Party of San Luis Obispo County.

The local party and the Lincoln Club — which works to encourage, recruit and support Republican candidates for partisan and nonpartisan office — invited Fiorina to speak at the ranch south of San Luis Obispo.

Fiorina’s two opponents in the GOP primary are Orange County Assemblyman Chuck DeVore and former U.S. Rep. Tom Campbell, who left the gubernatorial race and joined the race for Senate on Thursday.

“I welcome Tom Campbell into the race, however, I disagree with him profoundly on some issues,” Fiorina said. “He wants to legalize marijuana and increase gas taxes, and I don’t believe that will help the economy.”

Noting that in his position as local Republican chairman he cannot endorse a candidate in the primary, county Assessor Tom Bordonaro said he believes Fiorina can beat Boxer, who is running for her fourth six-year term in the U.S. Senate.

“I’m excited about Carly because she doesn’t come from the inside, and she has business smarts,” said Bordonaro, who was a state assemblyman from 1994 to 1998.

Fiorina led the Bay Area-based Hewlett-Packard from 1999 to 2005 and recently battled breast cancer, undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

Before her local visit, Fiorina attended the Lighthouse Bank Business and Economic Conference in Santa Cruz and visited with business and community leaders at the Grower-Shipper Association of Central California in Salinas on Thursday.