Loretta Sanchez+Kamala Harris

U.S. Representative Loretta Sanchez left. California Attorney General Kamala Harris right.

Capitol Alert
By Christopher Cadelago
ccadelago@sacbee.com
June 22, 2016 – 2:20 PM

  • Ex-Los Angeles mayor calls her an ‘independent thinker’
  • Sanchez: ‘I will work with leaders across the aisle’
  • Harris has strong support from Democrats and leads in poll

Democrat Loretta Sanchez’s gambit to attract dissident Republicans to her U.S. Senate campaign received a shot of encouragement Wednesday with the endorsement of former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan.

Riordan, a retired Republican businessman who led the city though the tumultuous 1990s, described Sanchez, who is competing against Democratic Attorney General Kamala Harris, as tough and unafraid to take a stand on important issues, touting her as an “independent thinker and a proven leader.”

“Loretta knows how to work with Democrats, Republicans, and Independents,” Riordan said in a statement.

He went on to cite her vote against the Iraq War despite being under “extreme pressure.”

The endorsement, Sanchez’s first from a major California Republican, buttresses an argument made by her campaign that she will be the favorite of GOP voters forced to choose between Democrats in the race to succeed retiring U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer.

Sanchez, for nearly two decades a member of Congress, won the Orange County seat in a upset over former GOP Rep. Bob Dornan, a social conservative. Over the years, she’s staked out a socially progressive record while maintaining her Blue Dog Democrat credentials.

Harris was overwhelmingly endorsed by the California Democratic Party and has vowed to build on Boxer’s record on environmental and social justice issues.

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