On Thursday, state Assemblyman Rocky Chávez became the first notable Republican to declare his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barbara Boxer.
Chávez, from Oceanside, served in the Marines for 28 years, rising to the level of colonel, later joined the Oceanside City Council, and was elected to the Assembly in 2012. He served as acting secretary of the state’s Department of Veterans Affairs under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Chávez stated, “I believe absolutely that I am a uniquely qualified candidate. I’m a fighter who brings bipartisan support to issues and gets them solved.”
Chávez’s chances are slim because the GOP has such a weak presence in the state; he will face state Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris, who has already obtained numerous endorsements from power players in the Democratic party.
Chávez won’t shy away from the challenge, however. As a high school and college wrestler he qualified for the U.S. Olympic trials in 1968 and 1972 in Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Chávez pointed out the difference between Harris and himself vis-à-vis national security issues, saying, “If things get worse overseas, who would Californians want representing them in the Senate? A lawyer from San Francisco or a Marine colonel who knows how lives can be protected and understands the importance of keeping America and her allies safe and secure.” He added, “Californians are looking for someone who shares their story. My father taught me the value of hard work in the grape fields with my uncles and cousins, which led to my success in the military and desire to give back through public service.”
Chávez is pro-life and has been endorsed by the California ProLife Council.