Republican Assemblyman Chuck Devore of Irvine said Tuesday that he will challenge U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer in the 2010 election and plans to borrow a page from President-elect Barack Obama's fundraising playbook in his long shot attempt to unseat her.
Devore said he would announce his intentions in a live webcast today. He plans to use the Internet to build a nationwide base of financial supporters, including many able only to give small amounts, a technique Obama showed can be highly successful.
"I'm going to shamelessly copy the mechanics of it," said Devore, who was elected to the state Legislature four years ago to represent a large area of Orange County. "If it works for him, it makes sense to see if it works for me."
Boxer recently reported raising more than $3.6 million for a reelection campaign almost two years away. She celebrated her 68th birthday Tuesday with an online fundraiser.
She was elected to the U.S. Senate more than 15 years ago after 10 years in the House of Representatives. She was reelected to a third term in 2004 and serves as chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
Devore, 46, said Boxer's opposition to the recent lifting of the moratorium on drilling for oil off California's coast is no longer in sync with the wishes of voters worried about energy shortages and costs.
"California can't afford Barbara Boxer's outdated thinking anymore," he said.
Boxer defended her position in a recent statement arguing that President Bush was wrong to support lifting the moratorium.
"The president is taking special-interest government to a new level and threatening our thriving coastal economy, worth $70 billion and almost 2 million jobs," she said.
Devore, who joined GOP Assembly colleagues this summer in opposing a tax increase proposed by Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, is a former executive of an aerospace research firm and before that served as a congressional liaison for the Pentagon.