A Representative from Orange County, Loretta Sanchez has beaten the odds before.
By Adrian Perez
|Rep. Loretta Sanchez - D/OC|
LOS ANGELES, CA -- Orange County Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez is about to upend California state politics as usual as she announces her candidacy for U.S. Senate, behind Barbara Boxer’s retirement.
“I am here today to announce that I am a candidate for the United States Senate,” Sanchez told a group of journalists, supporters and friends. Surrounded by her family, Sanchez, 55, becomes the second Democrat to announce their candidacy to fill Boxer’s seat.
Sanchez, best known for beating long-time Republican Congressman Bob Dornan in 1996 for his seat, will be facing fellow Democrat and State Attorney General Kamala Harris.
“I am passionate about California and I believe we need a strong and experienced legislator in the Senate who is ready to hit the ground running,” she told the crowd in front of the Santa Ana train station. “We need a senator who cares deeply about working people and is ready to fight for our future.”
Sanchez and other legislators have criticized Harris about her lack of experience in developing public policy and representing constituents at a different level. With nearly 20 years in Congress, Sanchez has established herself as one of California’s most powerful legislators.
“Representing California in Congress for 19 years has given me a deep understanding of the issues California faces today from San Diego to Eureka,” she said. “We face a host of historic challenges--drought, terrorist threats, a broken immigration policy, and budget deficits; and we must work to strengthen our schools, foster innovation, protect our environment and grow our economy.”
Although Harris has a stronghold in the San Francisco Bay Area, her presence in Central and Southern California has been limited and scared by accusations that her Deputies have lied under oath to obtain convictions, something she has denied being knowledgeable about. More recently, one of her staff was arrested for impersonating an officer.
“I have the national security, military and foreign policy experience to guide our nation in these perilous times…During these past 14 years of war and conflict, I have gone countless times to Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan and other conflict zones to ensure our troops had what they need to survive and win, to see first-hand if our policies make sense, and to confer with our generals, captains and sergeants about ongoing operations,” Sanchez told the crowd. “As the most senior woman in Congress today on military and national security issues, I know what needs to be done to ensure our nation is secure and our troops are equipped and ready.”
There are still two other potential Latino Democrats considering entering the U.S. Senate race (Congressman Xavier Becerra and Army Secretary Louis Caldera, Ret.), however, political strategists believe Sanchez would be the most formidable candidate against Harris.