Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) has formally announced that she will run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by a retiring Barbara Boxer (D-CA) in 2016. She will challenge California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who was the first to declare her candidacy earlier this year, and had already begun raising millions of dollars in the hopes of clearing the field of rivals.
Earlier in the week, Sanchez suffered an abortive campaign launch: she had appeared to declare her candidacy, but then withdrew what was apparently a premature announcement. On Thursday, Sanchez announced: “I’m running for Senate because I bring national security and military experience in these critical times,” according to the Orange County Register.
Sanchez’s entry sets up a political fight among the state’s Latino and African-American Democrats. Hispanic politicians had cast about for an alternative to Harris, but several other Democrats declined to challenge Harris, who would be the state’s first black U.S. Senator.
Republicans in the race are Assemblyman Rocky Chavez and former GOP chair Tom del Beccaro.