Loretta Sanchez

Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Santa Ana, talks with supporters Friday evening at Don Ramon’s Mexican restaurant in San Francisco. (Christopher Cadelago ccadelago@sacbee.com)

By Christopher Cadelago
ccadelago@sacbee.com
04/11/2015 – 9:18 AM

SAN FRANCISCO

Venturing far outside her Orange County district, Rep. Loretta Sanchez gave a passionate, campaign-style talk here Friday evening, offering the strongest indication yet that she intends to enter the sleepy contest to replace U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer.

Promising a decision within two weeks, Sanchez took aim at fellow Democrat Kamala Harris, the early front-runner in the Senate race. She criticized the state attorney general for her lack of federal experience and contrasted it with Sanchez’s own two decades in Congress.

“I believe we have experience that Kamala does not have,” Sanchez said of Harris, a former district attorney of San Francisco.

“Look, in a very dangerous world, and a very scary world that we’re in, I’ve got 19 years of sitting on Armed Services and Homeland Security” committees, Sanchez continued. “In the Senate, (you) need somebody who already understands what’s going on. I don’t have any ramp-up. You know, I mean we can’t afford somebody who’s never — who doesn’t understand what’s going on in the world.”

With the California Democratic Party’s convention next month in Anaheim, and Harris expected to have a prime speaking slot, Sanchez predicted, “They’ll be action in my hometown, don’t worry.”

Her remarks, followed by a question-and-answer session, came during a cocktail-hour meet-and-greet at Don Ramon’s Mexican restaurant organized by numerous Democratic Latino organizations in the Bay Area. In introductory comments, several attendees said they felt it was important that the field include a qualified Latino Democratic candidate.

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