The tech industry put its stamp on California's political scene Tuesday, as two former Silicon Valley chiefs prevailed in Republican gubernatorial and U.S. Senate primaries.
Former Ebay CEO Meg Whitman captured 64.2% of the vote in defeating state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner and will challenge political veteran Jerry Brown for the Statehouse in the fall.
Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, meanwhile, got the nod to represent the GOP in a Senate race that will pit her against longtime incumbent Barbara Boxer. Fiorina won 56.5% of the vote on the way to defeating former Rep. Tom Campbell in the Senate primary.
Throughout the campaign, Fiorina and Whitman painted themselves as political outsiders and real-world problem solvers steeled by years in the ultra-competitive tech industry.
"Career politicians in Sacremento and Washington, D.C., be warned because you now face your biggest nightmare: Two businesswomen who know how to create jobs, balance budgets and get things done," said Whitman, during a victory speech in Universal City, Calif.
Fiorina, in her own victory statement, said she would run on a lean government platform and blamed Boxer and other incumbents for California's fiscal woes.
"Californians have had enough of a government that is out of control, out of touch and addresses every problem with more bureaucracy and more spending," said Fiorina.
"For 28 long years in Washington, Barbara Boxer has led our state and our nation down a path toward higher taxes, greater regulation, and less economic growth. But this year, we have a unique opportunity to defeat her so that we can take our government in a different direction," said Fiorina.
Whitman, 53, is a Long Island, New York native who earned a Harvard MBA and led Ebay from 1998 to 2007. The online auctioneer grew from a 30-employee startup to a multi-billion dollar dot.com success story during her tenure.
Texas native and Stanford grad Fiorina, 55, was CEO at Hewlett-Packard from 2001 to 2005, and oversaw the company's $25 billion buyout of rival PC maker Compaq.
Both women will face a range of divisive issues on the campaign trail, including immigration policies, environmental controversies like cap-and-trade, and California's crippling deficit.