Capitol Alert

Republican Tom Del Beccaro announces U.S. Senate run

Tom Del Beccaro, right, on the steps of the state Capitol in 2012, has announced his intention to run in the U.S. Senate race in 2016. The former chairman of the state Republican Party said he wants a flat tax and an end to the high-speed rail project.
Tom Del Beccaro, right, on the steps of the state Capitol in 2012, has announced his intention to run in the U.S. Senate race in 2016. The former chairman of the state Republican Party said he wants a flat tax and an end to the high-speed rail project. Sacramento Bee file

Tom Del Beccaro, a former chairman of the California Republican Party, announced his campaign for the U.S. Senate on Sunday, promising to focus on the state’s uneven economic recovery and punishing drought in his bid to succeed Democrat Barbara Boxer.

Del Beccaro, an attorney and published author who will pair his run with an upcoming book tour, said he plans to advocate for a nationwide flat tax. He also will campaign to make California a water-technology leader.

“I support a flat tax nationwide, the repeal of California’s high-speed rail bond and a comprehensive water infrastructure and acquisition program for California,” Del Beccaro said in a statement. “California, which historically has been a high-tech leader, should be the world leader in water technology to meet the challenges of tomorrow, and we need a new generation of leaders who will champion the policies necessary to foster that.”

He plans to use the May 26 release of his book, “The Divided Era,” to help launch what he acknowledges will be an uphill campaign given the Democratic Party’s 15-percentage-point advantage in voter registration. Democrat Kamala Harris, the state attorney general, holds a large fundraising advantage over the other Republican in the race, Assemblyman Rocky Chávez. Duf Sundheim, another former state Republican chairman, also is considering a run for the seat.

Del Beccaro, the most socially conservative of the trio, estimates he’ll have to build a large grass-roots effort and raise upward of $10 million to be competitive.

He is urging congressional Republicans to convene a Southwestern summit to “expose the real crime and danger” at the U.S.-Mexico border and work with allies and adversaries on an immigration deal. And he said he disagrees with a recent comments by Harris that “an undocumented immigrant is not a criminal.”

“If you break the law, that means you’ve broken the law,” Del Beccaro said, taking issue with the question about Harris.

“My focus is more about how to bring people to the table,” he added. “I am not running so I can say, ‘Some people are wrong and some people are right.’ I am going to be very specific in this campaign about solutions as opposed to just politics and yelling back and forth.”

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

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