Former Hewlett-Packard Co. chief executive Carly Fiorina on Tuesday took the first formal step toward running for Democrat Barbara Boxer's U.S. Senate seat.
Fiorina filed for a tax identification number and registered a campaign committee named "Carly for California." The committee will allow her to begin raising money for a potential 2010 run for the Republican nomination.
In a statement, Fiorina said she had been encouraged to run by "people across the political spectrum" and will begin meeting with policy advisers and financial donors.
"The people of California have serious concerns about job creation, economic growth and the role of government in solving problems that touch each of our lives," she said.
Spokeswoman Beth Miller said there was no timetable for making a formal announcement about a Senate bid.
Fiorina, 54, took the top job at Palo Alto-based HP in 1999 after spending nearly two decades at AT&T Inc. and its spun-off equipment-making arm, Lucent Technologies Inc.
She led HP's $24 billion acquisition of Compaq Computer Corp. despite bitter resistance from descendants of HP's founders. She was pushed out in 2005 after the computer and printer maker's stock sank 56 percent on her watch.
Woman at the top
In her memoir, "Tough Choices," Fiorina argued that she was unfairly scrutinized as a woman at the top rungs of corporate America.
Last year, Fiorina served as an economic adviser to Republican presidential nominee John McCain.
The Los Altos Hills resident finished chemotherapy after undergoing surgery for breast cancer in March and has received an excellent prognosis from her doctors, Miller said.
A Field Poll in March found voters were split when asked whether they were inclined to re-elect Boxer, but Boxer easily won in a theoretical matchup with Fiorina, 55 percent to 25 percent.
If she runs, Fiorina would face state Assemblyman Chuck DeVore of Irvine in the GOP primary.
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