Loretta Sanchez

Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Santa Ana

April 19, 2015 – Updated 10:06 p.m.
By Martin Wicskol, Staff Columnist

Before heading back to Congress after a two-week Easter recess, Rep. Loretta Sanchez stoked the buzz that she’ll be challenging Attorney General Kamala Harris next year in the race to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer.

She told Fox News Latino that a Latino candidate “will energize the community in ways that other candidates cannot.”

Meeting with Latino leaders in San Francisco on April 11, she was even more direct in framing herself as superior to fellow Democrat Harris.

“I believe we have experience that Kamala does not have,” Sanchez said, according to a Sacramento Bee report. “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.”

Sanchez also said she’d announce whether she’d be running by the end of this week. She’s the featured speaker today at a luncheon of the Democratic Foundation of Orange County, which has been a staunch supporter of hers, beginning with her landmark 1996 campaign and upset of incumbent GOP Rep. Bob Dornan.

So maybe we’ll find out Monday.

A February Field Poll asked voters which candidates they would consider supporting for Senate. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, a Republican who’s said she won’t run, topped the field at 49 percent. Next came Harris at 46 percent, Sanchez at 39 percent and California Secretary of State Alex Padilla at 38 percent.

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