Chuck DeVore launches 2010 run against Boxer

Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, R-Irvine, officially threw his hat into the ring today to challenge U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., in 2010.

In a live Webcast this afternoon, DeVore said he stands for the classic Republican platform of fiscal responsibility, strong national defense and protecting individual rights against government encroachment. He noted it’s “a long way from here to the general election in 24 months,” first through a GOP primary and then against Boxer “and her far-left friends,” but he predicted victory. “I will put my record against hers any day.”

“California is my home and I love it second only to my God and my family,” he said. “We have a long road ahead but I know that with the grace of god, the courage of our convictions and the blessings of the good people of California, our best days are yet to come.”

DeVore from 1986 to 1988 was a Special Assistant for Foreign Affairs in the Department of Defense, working on Capitol Hill and traveling the world. He then went to work on Chris Cox’s Congressional campaign, and after Cox won, served as a senior assistant during Cox’s first term. An Army Reservist, he was deployed during the Gulf War; upon returning, he joined SM&A, a Newport Beach aerospace engineering and management services firm. He also was an Irvine Community Services Commission member from 1991 to 1996, and a GOP county committeeman from 1993 to 2003; he won his Assembly seat in 2004.

Earlier this year he headed up Citizens for a Safe and Prosperous America, a “section 527” issue-advocacy group that ran attack ads against Democratic presidential primary contenders Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Here’s one of those ads:

So if DeVore helped air an ad saying Obama’s record is the Senate’s most liberal, I guess that’s not a claim we’ll hear him make against Boxer – right?

Now, to the numbers… DeVore won his 70th Assembly District seat in 2004 with 61.1 percent of the vote against a Democrat and a Libertarian. He kept it in 2006 with 60.5 percent against only a Democrat, and again last week with 58.2 percent against that same Democrat – still a comfortable margin, but with some slow slippage over the years.

Boxer was elected to the Senate in 1992 with 47.9 percent; she was re-elected in 1998 with 53 percent of the vote and in 2004 with 57.8 percent of the vote – a steady gain over time. And both Republicans who unsuccessfully challenged her incumbency earlier had won election to statewide office – 1998’s Matt Fong as state Treasurer, and 2004’s Bill Jones as a two-term Secretary of State.

Add to that the facts that Boxer has a formidable fundraising record and $3.6 million cash on hand in her campaign war chest; a bully pulpit as chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee; and a sitting president almost certainly willing to come stump for her, and one’s left with the impression that DeVore enters this race as a long-shot at best.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.