Former GOP Congressman David Dreier may throw his hat into the ring to replace liberal Democrat Barbara Boxer in the U.S. Senate, according to his spokesman, Mark Harmsen.
Dreier, who served in Congress for 32 years before retiring in 2013 when district boundaries were redrawn, could mount a strong challenge to expected Democratic front-runners Kamala Harris and Antonio Villaraigosa. A survey from Public Policy Polling, which leans left, showed him trailing Harris by only 47% -42% in a two-person race, and breathing down Villaraigosa’s neck 46%-44%.
On Monday, Harmsen said that Dreier, who once served as chairman of the House Rules Committee, has been asked about running; he said, “a wide variety of people [are] urging him to look seriously at a Senate run,” according to the Sacramento Bee.
Dreier wrote the 1995 Congressional reform package that created term limits for committee chairmen and opened committee meetings to the public and press. The former congressman now serves as the chairman of the Annenberg-Dreier Commission, focusing on trade, and occasionally writes for the Orange County Register. He joined the Brookings Institution as a distinguished fellow in May 2013.
Dreier is a realist about Congress; he wrote in the Times last July: “If Congress is deeply divided, it is because we Americans are deeply divided. Reaching consensus poses great challenges that must be met, not only by congressional and presidential leadership but by the nation. In the meantime, we should recognize that our voices as citizens are heard and that those in Congress are finding ways to move forward amid a divided public.”