By Peter Savodnik - 11/10/05 12:00 AM EST
Republican business owner Bill Mundell, who backed the failed effort to revamp California’s redistricting system, said earlier this week he is seriously considering a run next year against Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).
Mundell said he would make an announcement about the race this month.
“When she went to Washington 12 years ago, we got back 93 cents for every dollar we sent to Washington,” Mundell said of Feinstein, now in her third term. “Now we get back something in the mid-70s.”
More federal help is needed to defend California’s border with Mexico, he added.
Republicans have made little, if any, effort to find a serious candidate to run against Feinstein, who won her last race with 56 percent of the vote and is one of the state’s best-known elected officials. In the months leading up to the 2003 recall of Democratic Gov. Gray Davis, many leading California Democrats privately or publicly voiced hopes that Feinstein would run.
California remains a Democratic redoubt for federal officials: Both senators and 33 of the state’s 53-member House delegation are Democrats. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) won the state in his presidential bid last year with 54 percent of the vote versus 44 percent for President Bush.
Mundell said the defeat of Proposition 77, the redistricting measure, was unlikely to deter him from running for the Senate. “It might encourage me more,” he said.