Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D- Santa Ana, announced her candidacy for the United States Senate at the Santa Regional Transportation Center Thursday morning. ///ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: loretta.0515 8 p.m. Ð 5/14/15 Ð SAM GANGWER, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER -

Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Orange (Sam Gangwer/Staff Photographer)

By Martin Wisckol / Staff Columnist
Nov. 29, 2015 – Updated 12:00 a.m.

Rep. Loretta Sanchez’s campaign for U.S. Senate is showing signs of expanding its base beyond Southern California, giving frontrunner Kamala Harris, the state’s attorney general, reason to keep an eye on the rear-view mirror.

Last week, Sanchez announced endorsements by local elected officials from the Central Valley as well as that of a couple other key officials from the region, Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, and former Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante.

That comes on the heels of endorsements from Rep. Anna Eshoo of the Silicon Valley and Rep. Sam Farr from the Central Coast.

Additionally, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi named the Orange County native to be House Democrats’ negotiator for the long-term highway bill pending in Congress. It’s an interesting choice, given that Sanchez doesn’t sit on the Transportation Committee, and is best know for her work on military and homeland security issues.

“Maybe it’s a tacit endorsement,” suggested former Rep. John Campbell, an Irvine Republican who now teaches political science at UC Irvine. Pelosi, who lives in San Francisco where Harris served as district attorney, has not made a formal endorsement in the race.

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