Assemblymember Rocky Chávez, California's 76th District.  By Assemblymember Chavez (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.
Assemblymember Rocky Chávez, California’s 76th District. By Assemblymember Chavez (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Republican Assemblyman Rocky Chavez of Oceanside in San Diego County announced Thursday he will run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., setting up a race with Democratic state Attorney General Kamala Harris.

Chavez announced on Feb. 17 that he was forming an exploratory committee.

“Our national security is a major concern, with ISIS growing bolder every day,” Chavez said in reference to the terrorist group. “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.”

Chavez was first elected to the Assembly in 2012 and re-elected in November. He describes himself as “a fiscal conservative and social moderate.”

Chavez was an Oceanside councilman, acting secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs and a colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps, a role to which he pays tribute in his committee’s website,

“My strong history of leadership and compelling personal narrative give me great confidence, Chavez said. “I believe we can start a movement that will make a real difference in the lives of California families.

Harris, a Democrat, announced her candidacy on Jan. 13, five days after Boxer said she would not seek re-election in 2016.

Brian Brokaw of the Harris campaign said, “The attorney general welcomes Assemblyman Chavez to the race and believes anyone should run for office if that’s how he or she believes California can be best served.”

Reps. Loretta Sanchez, D-Garden Grove, and Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, have said they are considering running.

— City News Service

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