Carly Fiorina gives acceptance speech at Anaheim rally

Carly Fiorina talks to supporters after winning the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate race.
Carly Fiorina talks to supporters after winning the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate race.
Adolfo Guzman-Lopez/KPCC

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Voters in the Republican primary yesterday selected former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina to challenge incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer in the November general election for U.S. Senate.

The new face of the Republican Party is found in candidates like Carly Fiorina, said California Republican Party Chair Ron Nehring. "I think you’ll see a very diverse ticket that represents all of California but also puts forward better ideas than what the Democrats are putting forward."

Nehring highlighted the run for Congress by Republican Vietnamese-American candidate Van Tran and the run for lieutenant governor by Abel Maldonado, a Latino and a Republican. Their skin color and gender may make them unusual Republican candidates, but they all will run on the traditional party platforms of job creation, smaller government and lower taxes.

Speaking to a ballroom full of supporters in Anaheim, Carly Fiorina congratulated fellow Republican nominee Meg Whitman in her effort to defeat Democrat Jerry Brown in the November election for California governor. "California will now be offered two candidates at the top of our ticket who have actually created jobs and cut costs, and we look forward to taking on the two career politicians on the other side," she said.

To win, Fiorina needs the votes of registered Democrats and independents. It’ll be an uphill struggle even in Orange County, the most Republican county in the nation as party officials like to say, where Fiorina will face nonpartisan voters who lean Democrat, like Chris and Melissa Rost of Garden Grove.

"I don’t know a lot about her at this point," said Chris Rost. "All I know is that Sarah Palin endorsed her – that right there puts the nail in the coffin for me," added Melissa Rost as both left a polling booth near their home.

If the Republican Party’s platform doesn’t convince enough mainstream California voters, it won’t matter how diverse the party’s become.