Sundheim, 62, a former California Republican Party chairman from Los Altos Hills, issued a statement noting his campaign is focused on “‘Solutions through Innovation.’ No one has done more in the last two decades to change the way we live, work, learn and play than John Chambers.”
Chambers helped grow Cisco from $70 million when he joined Cisco in January 1991, to $1.2 billion when he assumed the role of CEO, to $47 billion in FY15, Sundheim noted.
Chambers said the nation needs “strong, principled leaders in Washington, DC who can bring together people from all political perspectives to craft workable solutions to our country’s most pressing problems. Duf Sundheim is that kind of leader.”
“I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and working with Duf for two decades, and I’ve seen how much he cares about the future of California and is inclusive of every one of its citizens,” Chambers added. “At a time when trust in our leaders is low, Duf will bring honesty, integrity, and compassion to the United States Senate. I’m honored to support his campaign and proud to call him my friend.”
Chambers has given generously to Republican causes and co-chaired John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. He said a few weeks ago that he believes the GOP has moved too far to the right, Business Insider reported.
“I’m a moderate Republican — an endangered species – who likes Democrats, so that’s even worse,” Chambers quipped on stage to Box CEO Aaron Levie, a guest at the Boxworks tech conference in San Francisco.
Asked how he feels about Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, Chambers paused and then replied, “Let’s be very candid. Americans like to be led from the middle. We like to be led by people who have experience. What I’d like to see from the Republican party is a moderate Republican who’s really in touch on the social and the immigration issues who has had tremendous track record in their state … I’d like to see a moderate Republican governor.”
Sundheim last week named former U.S. Secretary of State, Treasury and Labor George Shultz, whom he counts as a mentor, as another of his campaign’s co-chairs.
Sundheim is vying with fellow former California Republican Party Chairman Tom Del Beccaro; Assemblyman Rocky Chavez, R-Oceanside; California Attorney General Kamala Harris, a Democrat; and Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Santa Ana, in next June’s top-two primary to succeed U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. Another Republican, Santa Monica businessman Al Ramirez, is exploring a run.