Former HP and eBay tech chiefs Fiorina and Whitman win GOP primary battles

This might be the first time we've had two major party candidates coming out of the tech industry in the same election cycle.

Last night was an interesting night for tech. Primary elections were held in 12 states, including California. What makes California so interesting in this particular case is both who was on the ballot and who won.

Carly Fiorina, former CEO of tech giant HP, is running for the GOP slot in the fall Senate campaign. She won.

Meg Whitman, former CEO of Internet giant eBay, is running for the GOP slot in the fall gubernatorial campaign. She won.

I've been thinking about this now for a few hours, racking my brain, and doing a bunch of searches. I  believe this is the first time we've had two major party candidates coming out of the tech industry in the same election cycle. Cool, huh?

The story, of course, is far from simple. Fiorina was the much heralded CEO (incoming) and the much decried CEO (outgoing) at HP. She presided over the purchase of Compaq and has a mixed reputation as a manager. Recently, Fiorina was in the news when Sarah Palin endorsed her.

Whitman's story, if anything, is more impressive than Fiorina's. According to the December 9, 2009 Santa Maria Times (sorry, no link), she joined eBay when it had something like 30 employees and $4 million in sales and drove the company to an astonishing 15,000 employees and $8 billion in sales.

Interestingly (for those who just love political gossip), Whitman contributed to Senator Barbara Boxer's campaign back in 2004. Fiorina will be running against Boxer in November, so I'm guessing Boxer won't be getting any Whitman contributions this year.

Both candidates -- Fiorina and Whitman -- have made many public statements on their general policy directions, but none have spoken directly on tech issues.

This makes sense in campaign messaging intended for the general public, but while we don't have tangible campaign-level statements (yet), it's at least clear that both these candidates understand technology and technological issues at a level rarely seen in elected officials.

And that's my take-away to you about this election. Come November, you should vote your conscience. But whether you support the GOP or not, it's kind of nice to see some tech titans finally running (and winning).

TalkBack below. Be polite and play nice with each other.

See also, from CBS News: Fiorina Wins GOP Senate Primary in California Whitman Wins GOP Nomination for Calif. Governor