Capitol Alert

Republican David Dreier urged to run for U.S. Senate

Rep. David Dreier, then-chairman of Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger’s transition team, at a press conference in 2003.
Rep. David Dreier, then-chairman of Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger’s transition team, at a press conference in 2003. The Sacramento Bee

Add his name to the list of Republicans possibly contemplating what would be an uphill run for the U.S. Senate.

David Dreier, the former longtime congressman from San Dimas who chaired the House Rules Committee, is among those being approached about a potential campaign, a spokesman said Monday. The spokesman, Mark Harmsen, said “a wide variety of people (are) urging him to look seriously at a Senate run.” He did not respond to a follow-up about Dreier’s level of interest in the race.

Dreier, chairman of the Annenberg-Dreier Commission focusing on trade, was mentioned as a viable contender in a column in the Orange County Register, where he has served as a contributing writer.

A distinguished fellow at the Brookings Institution, he has over the decades repeatedly been mentioned as a likely GOP candidate for statewide office. He departed Congress after the once-a-decade process of redrawing district boundaries left him with few good options.

Lately, though, he’s been included in at least one private poll of the slowly materializing field since U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer announced she would not run for reelection next year.

The automated survey by Public Policy Polling showed Dreier running a few percentage points behind the only announced Democrat in the race, Attorney General Kamala Harris, and trailing former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa by a smaller margin.

On the GOP side so far, Republican Assemblyman Rocky Chávez of Oceanside, along with a pair of former chairman of the state GOP, are weighing Senate bids. Others are waiting to see how the field takes shape.

Call Christopher Cadelago, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 326-5538. Follow him on Twitter @ccadelago.

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