National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (R-Tex.) announced Tuesday that former Hewlett-Packard chief executive and 2010 California GOP Senate candidate Carly Fiorina will be the Senate campaign committee’s new vice chair.
Cornyn announced the news at Tuesday’s lunch with fellow GOP senators. In a statement set to be released this afternoon, the Texas Republican says Fiorina should be a major asset — especially when it comes to fundraising.
“I’m pleased to welcome my friend Carly Fiorina to the NRSC team, where her many business and civic achievements will make her an invaluable leader and fundraiser during this critical election cycle,” Cornyn said in the statement, which was obtained by the Fix.
Fiorina, who joins Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) as an NRSC vice chair, was hailed as a top recruit for the national Senate campaign committee in California last cycle, raising nearly $16 million and losing to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) by 10 points.
Hatch, who has hit the phones hard to raise money for the NRSC in recent years, faces a potentially tough reelection race this cycle and likely will be otherwise occupied for much of the next year and a half.
As the former head of HP, Fiorina has considerable ties to the business community and will be counted on to build the NRSC’s donor base, which has to compete with the Democrats’ success on Wall Street in recent years.
Republicans are hoping to retake the majority in the Senate this cycle, which would require them to win four Democratic seats if President Obama is reelected and three seats if a GOPer wins the White House.
Rep. Ron Paul will not seek reelection to his Texas congressional seat in 2012, regardless of his fate in the Republican presidential race.
Paul, who is currently serving his 12th term in Congress, will instead spend the bulk of his time on the 2012 Republican contest.
“Dr. Paul will not seek reelection . . . and will focus his efforts on winning the presidency,” Paul spokesman Jesse Benton told the Fix.
Paul’s decision comes even as he would have been a very strong favorite to win reelection in 2012 — assuming he didn’t win the GOP presidential nomination, of course.
The Texas lawmaker ran for reelection to his House seat in 2008 while he was seeking the GOP presidential nomination. Even after spending much of that election campaigning nationally, Paul easily turned aside a primary challenge from a local city councilman, winning by 40 points.
Paul’s 14th district south of Houston will change under a new congressional redistricting map, but it will remain heavily Republican, and the GOP should easily retain it.
Paul’s departure does not mean the end of the Paul era, though. His son Rand is a freshman senator from Kentucky who espouses some of the same libertarian and tea party values that his father champions.