Rep. Loretta Sanchez is using an unusual weapon in her campaign to replace outgoing liberal Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA): her record in Washington.
Sanchez frequently refers to her work on the House Homeland Security Committee and Armed Services Committee. On her Facebook page, she cites bills she has introduced on veterans’ affairs and immigration reform. And, most infamously, she cited her work in homeland security to defend her claim that up to 20% of Muslims worldwide support terror to establish an Islamic caliphate.
In most years, citing Washington work would be a commonplace tactic for a U.S. Representative seeking a promotion to the upper house of Congress. But in 2016, when there is unprecedented outrage at Washington among voters in both parties, Sanchez is taking a conscious risk.
Her rivals, chief among them California Attorney General Kamala Harris, have been taking potshots at Sanchez’s record on Capitol Hill. In a debate last month, Republicans attacked her for missing committee hearings.
However, at least one Republican in Washington, Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH), thinks highly of her. As Central Coast public radio station KCBX reports:
The Ohio Republican chairs Tactical Air and Land Forces, the subcommittee that oversees procurement of everything except ships. Sanchez is the top Democrat on that subcommittee. Turner calls Sanchez’ work “highly substantive.” He says Sanchez works to get “the right answer.” He says even if they come to different conclusions about testimony, he benefits from “her research, her inquisitiveness, her oversight” of the Defense Department. The two work so well together across the aisle that when Turner switched subcommittees, Democratic leaders asked Sanchez to switch, too.
That is not to say Sanchez gets along well with opposition. Last year, she led efforts to pressure NBC’s Saturday Night Live to disinvite Donald Trump from the program.
But in the year of the outsider, she is one of the few people to celebrate the positive side of incumbency. And incumbency has its advantages: though she trails Harris in recent polls, she leads all of her Republican rivals, none of whom holds public office, by wide margins. Only the top two candidates will emerge from the “jungle” primary June 7, regardless of party.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new e-book, Leadership Secrets of the Kings and Prophets: What the Bible’s Struggles Teach Us About Today, is on sale through Amazon Kindle Direct. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.