WASHINGTON, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Bill Jones, the last California Republican to win a statewide general election, officially entered the 2004 race for the U.S. Senate Thursday.
"Gray Davis paid the price for his fiscal mismanagement -- it is time (incumbent U.S. Sen.) Barbara Boxer answers for her failure to represent California in state and national affairs," said Jones, a former state legislator and two-term California secretary of state.
Jones enters the race the presumptive frontrunner for the GOP nomination. Some observers suggest his decision to go from backing George W. Bush in the 2000 Republican primary into the camp of Arizona Sen. Sen. John McCain may have damaged his appeal among party regulars, something his poor performance in the 2002 gubernatorial primary may reflect.
Also running for the Republican nomination against Boxer, a Democrat first elected in 1992, are former U.S. Treasurer Rosario Marin, ex-assemblyman Howard Kaloogian and former Los Altos Mayor Toni Casey. Casey is best known for her efforts to have the pro-life plank stripped out of the GOP national platform several years ago.
Boxer is currently unopposed in he Democratic primary.