Chuck DeVore rolls out billboard campaign

Republican U.S. Senate primary candidate Chuck DeVore today announced a new media effort.

Well, not “new media” as in digital, online, cutting-edge. In that sense, it’s decidedly old-school: a statewide billboard campaign that started its run today at locations in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties as well as along the Central Valley’s Highway 99 corridor.

But if you want to see one yourself, you’ll have to truck out to Atwater – that’s the closest one to the Bay Area. I asked DeVore campaign spokesman Joshua Trevino where the love was for our region, and he quickly replied, “Isn’t everyone in the Bay Area already sold on Chuck?”

Anyhow, the campaign says the billboards were the brainchild of two of DeVore’s conservative Hollywood supporters, with DeVore’s 18-year-old daughter completing the layout and artwork.

DeVore billboard

You won’t see too many U.S. Senate candidates having their teenage daughters design their billboards, but DeVore needs to be economical. He reported $625,958 in contributions in the first quarter of this year, with about $411,802 cash on hand as of March 31. In contrast, GOP primary frontrunner Tom Campbell reported $1.66 million raised in the first quarter with $1.1 million cash on hand at the end of last month, and primary rival Carly Fiorina – who earlier had put $2.5 millon of her own money into her campaign – reported $1.7 million raised in the first quarter, with $2.8 million cash on hand at last month’s end.

DeVore supporter Stephen K. Bannon, producer/writer/director of “Generation Zero,” said in a news release that the concept “of placing Chuck Devore in front of the Constitution was a natural. Chuck’s entire career has been about service to country and defense of our basic freedoms. Chuck Devore’s public life is inextricably linked to his defense of our Constitution. We are glad to represent a growing section of the creative community that actively supports Chuck Devore’s candidacy for the Republican nomination for United States Senate.”

“Our object is to retire Senator Boxer. We know what a tough campaigner she is, so we set out from the start to innovate, to blaze a new path to victory,” DeVore said in his release. “Our campaign has won awards for innovation in social networking and for the first-ever statewide candidate iPhone app. This stunning billboard image is a continuation of that effort.”

Trevino said the campaign will “closely measure the initial response and, pending results, we’ll expand our billboard buy significantly.”

DeVore has been making some progress but still trails his GOP primary rivals – and Boxer, in a hypothetical general-election matchup – in all recent polls.

UPDATE @ 1:41 P.M.: Trevino just called to say the campaign has bought two billboards to catch motorists going either direction on the Hayward-San Mateo Bridge.

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.