Former Hewlett-Packard CEO and Republican presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina is considering challenging Sen. Tim Kaine for his Virginia Senate seat next year, The Washington Post reports. "I'm certainly looking at that opportunity," Fiorina told Portsmouth-based radio host John Fredericks on Tuesday. "It's a little early to be making that decision."
Fiorina formerly ran for Senate in California, where she was handily beaten by Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer in 2010. Shortly afterward, Fiorina, her husband, and her dogs moved to Lorton, Virginia.
Fiorina offers voters an anti-establishment option, much like President Donald Trump did during his campaign. Although she led in some state primary polls for short periods of time (provoking insults about her face by Trump), she dropped out of the presidential race by February 2016 after a seventh-place finish in New Hampshire.
Democrats hold all of Virginia's five statewide offices, and the state is the only one in the South to have gone to Hillary Clinton in November. Kaine additionally served as Clinton's running mate, possibly making a 2018 campaign an uphill battle for Fiorina.
"We [Republicans] should be realistic that is going to be a very, very tough race," Fiorina said. "Virginia is a purple state. Virginia has two Democratic senators. The Democratic Party is going to throw everything they have at defending Tim Kaine's seat."