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With Senate campaign heating up, Sanchez has a chance to respond to Harris

Loretta Sanchez speaks to the state Democratic Party convention Sunday, a day after her Senate race rival

A day after Kamala Harris told a few thousand Democrats at a state party gathering in Anaheim why they should back her for U.S. Senate, her chief rival, Loretta Sanchez, will get a chance Sunday morning to do the same.

Sanchez is scheduled to be one of the last speakers Sunday morning in Anaheim at a state party convention that featured rallies on vaccines and trade, along with a margarita and mambo party with the Orange County congresswoman.

With many delegates already gone by Sunday morning, Sanchez's speaking slot is not ideal.

LIVE UPDATES: Coverage from the convention

But were it not for the good fortune of the party holding its annual gathering in her congressional district, Sanchez would have been relegated to speaking only to smaller party caucus groups.

Harris, the state attorney general, was automatically given a prime Saturday afternoon spot thanks to her status as a statewide elected official.

The burgeoning Senate contest – Sanchez entered the race Thursday – has been the highlight of the convention, with another Democrat, Rep. Xavier Becerra of Los Angeles, working the crowd over the weekend as he explores whether to run.

Both Sanchez and Harris are liberal Democrats whose policy contrasts appear to be minimal. Harris used her speaking time Saturday to lay out a broad federal agenda, including an increase in the federal minimum wage, new tuition aid for college students and a path to citizenship for immigrants in the country illegally.

Sanchez is likely to stress her more than 18 years of experience in Congress, particularly on foreign affairs.

The speech will also give her a chance to try to recover from a stumble on Saturday, when she offended some delegates by tapping her hand to her mouth in an imitation of a war cry as she was talking about Native Americans.


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