Kamala Harris

U.S. Senate candidate and state Attorney General Kamala Harris (Damian Dovarganes/AP)

May 13, 2015
Updated 7:30 p.m.
By Martin Wisckol, Staff Writer

On the eve of Rep. Loretta Sanchez’s expected announcement that she’ll run for U.S. Senate, current frontrunner Kamala Harris on Wednesday rolled out a list of eight Orange County elected officials who’ve endorsed her bid.

The endorsement list, which had already included the Santa Ana police union, underlines the formidable challenge Sanchez would face in running against fellow Democrat Harris, the state’s attorney general.

The list doesn’t include any state legislators or Democrats from the county’s three biggest cities. But it does show that some key Orange County politicos didn’t hesitate to endorse San Francisco’s Harris to replace retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer, despite the well-publicized possibility of Sanchez joining the race.

“(Harris) impresses me as a solid, progressive woman who’s not afraid to make tough decisions,” Laguna Beach Councilwoman Toni Iseman said. “I think she’s capable of unifying many aspects of the state.”

While she’s backing Harris, Iseman has supported Sanchez’s House campaigns in the past and said she’d like to see Sanchez continue in her current role there.

Besides Iseman, those listed as endorsing Harris are: Huntington Beach Mayor Jill Hardy; Fullerton Councilwoman Jan Flory; La Palma Councilman Steve Shanahan; Laguna Woods Mayor Cynthia Conners; Buena Park Mayor Art Brown; Stanton Councilwoman Carol Warren; and Coast Community College District board President Lorraine Prinsky.

Sanchez has had a bumpy week as she prepares to announce her plans. A leaked email Tuesday said she would be running for Senate and would announce Thursday at the Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center. Sanchez responded to reports of that email by saying she hadn’t made a decision of whether to run and that the draft email was inadvertently forwarded.

Then on Wednesday morning, a Sanchez aide sent out an email to the media saying that she would indeed be making “a significant political announcement” at 11 a.m. Thursday at the train station, and it would be open to the media and the public.

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