Harris Vs. Sanchez: Powerful Calfornians Vie for Voters Affections at Democratic Convention

ANAHEIM, California — Two powerful female California Democrats vying for outgoing Sen. Barbara Boxer’s (D-CA) Senate seat, Attorney General Kamala Harris and Rep. Loretta Sanchez, nearly went head-to-head this past weekend at the California Democrats Convention.

Both women hosted their own meet-and-greets mere feet away from one another late Saturday afternoon. A “cookies with Kamala” event was sponsored for Harris by the LA County Young Democrats, while Sanchez and the Young Latino Democrats of California co-hosted “Margaritas & Mambo” where both women expanded on their political platforms to eager and enthusiastic constituents seeking to decide whom they would support as their preferred candidate.

Harris was met with a warm reception and a prime-time speaking spot in front of at least 2,000 Democrats on Saturday, who had convened to support their party’s mission in the Golden State. She also received the endorsement of the conference’s star headliner, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who is said to be eyeing the 2016 presidency against the presumptive Democratic nominee, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Sanchez was left to do her own bidding on Saturday and was given a speaking spot on Sunday–far less visible, as many of the attendees had left after Saturday’s events.

Jobs took center stage for both women, among other key issues. After her margaritas mixer, Sanchez told Breitbart News that “It’s always about jobs,” and that California has “been very lucky to be leading the United States out of the recession.” Still, she said, the number of underemployed people, and people who have lost their homes, are rising. “We are going to show how we work with the business community to get those good paying jobs into California,” Sanchez assured.

When Breitbart News asked her if she supported raising the caps on the H1-B visa program, she referenced her 2012 bill, called Startup 2.0 which she says “actually increases 75,000 + 50,000 for entrepreneurs and graduate students in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program.”

During her Saturday address, Harris referred to the one question she says keeps hearing since declaring her candidacy four months ago as the “old elephant in the room….People want to know, how can you possibly expect to get anything done with the culture of dysfunction in Washington, D.C.?” She referenced Sen. Boxer’s ability to “cut through the gridlock” as a starting point to the work she would do to lift California up again.

Harris said she spoke on behalf of society’s most vulnerable, namely “immigrants, women, poor people, people subject to hate crimes,” and noted that education would take center stage in the push forward in addition to raising the minimum wage:

We know that today, the ladder of opportunity is broken… when the gap between the rich and the rest is greater than at any time since the Great Depression. When the minimum wage translates into poverty for a single mother struggling to care for her babies. When we have  1.5 million African-American men missing in our jails and in our prisons, we know it’s time to repair our ladder

Quoting late labor leader and champion of the left, Cesar Chavez, Harris said, “From the depth of need and despair, people can work together, can organize themselves to solve their own problems and fill their own needs with dignity and strength.” She said that it is time for a full pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens and “standing up for the DREAMers against the extremists in Congress who want to deny them an opportunity to serve our country and our military.”

Harris also advocated for the legalization of cannabis for medical purposes. “Now is the time to end the federal ban on medical marijuana.”

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz


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