Whitman, Fiorina Take Top Spots In California Republican Primaries

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Two former IT CEOs turned political candidates, Meg Whitman from eBay and Carly Fiorina from HP, won Republican primary elections for statewide offices in Tuesday's California elections.

Whitman easily won the Republican primary election for Governor of California, where she will go against Democrat Jerry Brown, this November.

Fiorina was the top vote getter in the Republican contest for the chance to challenge three-term Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer.

Both Whitman and Fiorina are making their first runs at statewide political offices. However, they emphasized their business experience and took advantage of a combination of name recognition and a nationwide shift by Republicans to vote for candidates who are generally more conservative than incumbents.

Whitman, a 10-year veteran of eBay, stepped down as the company's president and CEO in 2008.

Whitman spent about $71 million of her own fortune in her primary election bid, according to USA Today.

Her main opponent was California State Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, another former IT exec who founded a couple of software companies including SnapTrack and Strategic Mapping. Poizner spent $25 million of his own money on the election, USA Today said.

Fiorina was chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard until she was ousted by the company's board of directors in 2005 in the wake of the difficult acquisition by HP of Compaq.

While Fiorina is a newcomer to politics, her name has been circulating for some time in political circles. She appeared to be on a short list of potential vice presidential running mates to John McCain in 2008 before he settled on former Alaska Governor Sara Palin. Palin endorsed Fiorina in the California primary election.

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