Would tech stars bid for Barbara Boxer’s senate seat?

California Sen. Barbara Boxer’s announcement that she won’t seek re-election in 2016 creates a job opening, of course.

And not just for the state’s top elected Democrats, such as Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and California Attorney General Kamala Harris.

What about tech or tech-ish types?

California tech luminaries have tried and mostly failed to win a federal or statewide seat. Think Meg Whitman, the former CEO of eBay and now at the helm of Hewlett-Packard. Or Carly Fiorina, the former chief executive of HP who is reportedly thinking of a presidential bid, as Josh Richman reported last month.

But they were Republicans, which makes winning a state office in California an uphill battle.

For tech Democrats, particularly women, Boxer’s seat must surely pique interest.

There has long been speculation that Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer and a women’s rights advocate, could pursue a political career. A source close to Sandberg told Politico recently that she wasn’t interested.

Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Steve Jobs, has had more political exposure in recent years, with her public support for immigration reform and her appearances at the Democratic convention and President Obama’s State of the Union speech.

Sean Parker, the billionaire venture capitalist who recently said that he is involved in electoral politics as a “laboratory for learning,” told the San Francisco Chronicle that he never wants to run for office.

There is also Tom Steyer. O.K., he’s not a techie but a rich hedge-fund manager who dropped $70 million into this year’s midterm election. Democratic contenders will be looking for his financial support. Unless he runs against them.

Steyer has remained coy.

“Tom has consistently said that he will consider the best ways to have the biggest impact,” Chris Lehane, a political consultant for Steyer, told Politico.

(Photo of Sheryl Sandberg speaking at Salesforce.com conference last year, by Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)



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