Sanchez vs. Harris to replace Boxer?

Sanchez vs. Harris to replace Boxer?

Loretta SanchezAttorney General Kamala Harris’ high-speed rail trip to the U.S. Senate might face a block on the tracks. Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Santa Ana, is considering a run.

When I was at the Orange County Register, we met with her numerous times. We disagreed on many issues. But she is a delightful, even fun person.

Sanchez first was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1996 in a disputed election against boisterous conservative Republican Bob Dornan, the incumbent. But the real reason Dornan lost was that he spent much of the early election season tramping through the snow in New Hampshire in a Quixotic bid to become president. Meanwhile, Loretta — as everybody calls her — was knocking on doors and going to Kiwanis meetings in the California sun.

The district in central Orange County was trending Democratic anyway because of immigration. But Dornan could have held on for one or two more election cycles if he had taken care of business at home.

Loretta would bring some benefits to the race that Harris doesn’t have. She would be the first U.S. senator in more than two decades from Southern California, which has 2/3 of the state’s population. The two current senators from the Golden State, Barbara Boxer, who is retiring, and Dianne Feinstein, both hail from tony Marin County. And Harris is the former district attorney for mega-expensive San Francisco.

Indeed, Boxer’s predecessor in that seat, wily old Alan Cranston, also was a Northern Californian. You have to go all the way back to 1969 and Thomas Kuchel to find a Southern Californian in that seat.

Working class

By contrast, Loretta knows well the working-class folks of Southern California who struggle in her own district. She is somewhat more moderate than most Democrats in the House, although she supported Obamacare and other parts of the president’s liberal agenda. In any case, Loretta almost certainly would be less liberal than Boxer has been, or Harris would be.

Loretta also would be highly attractive to the state’s increasingly important Latino voters, who currently are not represented in the state’s three top offices: governor and two senators. The odds-on favorite to be the next governor is Gavin Newsom, the former San Francisco mayor.

California also now has the Top Two system, which was designed to help more moderate candidates like Loretta because any voter can vote for any candidate. In the primary in 2016, Harris might appeal to the more liberal elements in the Democratic Party. But Loretta could appeal to moderate Democrats, independents and even some incumbents.

At a minimum, a Sanchez-Harris race would give voters a choice and prevent a coronation.


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  1. maximilian
    maximilian 16 January, 2015, 10:32

    Sanchez is a delight to listen to…Why? Cause she has something to say. Sanchez orates (without being pompous) her position on important issues, makes creative remarks about California’s future and reveals her knowledge of what the working class really wants.
    Can Kamala do any of this? If so, I certainly have never heard any of it.
    I noted my support for Chiang if he decides to run. But, if Sanchez decides to enter the fray, I’ll help her as well.
    Anybody but Kamala…ABK

    Reply this comment
  2. Ted the Great
    Ted the Great 16 January, 2015, 12:31

    Gotta go with Kammie

    Reply this comment
    • SkippingDog
      SkippingDog 16 January, 2015, 12:53

      I’m with Ted on this one: Harris is the best choice. However, Sanchez would be an excellent alternative.

      Reply this comment
      • ted t hall-steele DVM
        ted t hall-steele DVM 16 January, 2015, 16:18

        I agree with u Skipper

        Reply this comment
        • maximilian
          maximilian 17 January, 2015, 11:05

          Ted, Dog & DVM: Good to see you’re all on board with Ms. Harris. But, for the moment, consider what issues there are, both domestically and on the foreign stage. What position on any issue have you ever heard Kamala take? I mean a serious position. And that includes California-based concerns; high-speed rail, immigration, taxation, etc.
          I’d like to join her in her quest for the Senate seat, but I’m afraid she’s about to announce she wants to continue carrying the Boxer flag and that ain’t going to work.
          I don’t believe she’s a visionary, a leader, an idea person with something exciting to call a her “platform.” I’m willing to hold out for now…it’s early.

          Reply this comment
  3. desmond
    desmond 16 January, 2015, 18:16

    Willie Brown says “Kammie can really make my Sammie wanna do the slammie”

    Reply this comment
  4. Ted
    Ted "Patriot" Steele 16 January, 2015, 20:56


    Reply this comment
  5. Dyspeptic
    Dyspeptic 17 January, 2015, 11:28

    I agree, lets replace one bubble brain with another. Sanchez for Senate.

    Who cares if she has a delightful personality. She’s wouldn’t be running for Prom Queen. That is not a relevant qualification for what is laughingly referred to as The Worlds Greatest Deliberative Body.

    The problem here of course is that Sanchez could very well be the best viable candidate. She won’t win of course, because she’s not as politically connected in Crazyfornia as Harris, and she lives among the peons of So Cal, far away from the San Francisco-Sacramento nexus that runs the state.

    We all know that, thanks to drone voters like the Demodrones who opine here, anyone with a D next to their name wins Boxers seat. A cadaver with a “D” tattooed to it’s forehead could win.

    Either way, the end result will be another Senator who thinks The U.S. Constitution is something you wipe your posterior with. For the children, of course.

    Reply this comment

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Tags assigned to this article:
John SeilerKamala HarrisLoretta SanchezBob Dornan

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