California Attorney General Kamala Harris could soon have a serious competitor in the race for outgoing Senator Barbara Boxer’s seat. After announcing that she is “seriously considering” running for the U.S. Senate in 2016, multiple congressional sources have revealed that Loretta Sanchez could announce her candidacy after Easter, according to Politico.
Sanchez is currently serving her tenth term in the House, where she represents much of Orange County. She also serves on the Armed Services and Homeland Security committees. Should she run, her chances at a victory will likely stem from California’s Latino voter population, as she is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
Politico notes that Harris had a commanding lead over several other potential contenders for Boxer’s Senate seat based on name recognition, according to the results of a February poll. Yet Sanchez’s national access to Latino voters could help offset that through successful fundraising and investing in ads to boost her name.
Despite being seen as drawing more moderate votes away from Harris and being a member of the Blue Dog Coalition–a congressional caucus for Democrats who identify themselves as being conservative–Sanchez’s voting record has not deviated far from that of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa decided against running for Boxer’s seat in February, making way for Sanchez to potentially pick up many Latino votes that may have gone to him if he had decided to throw his name into the ring.
An announcement from Sanchez, if forthcoming, is expected in the coming days.
Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz.