Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove) said Tuesday that she was seriously considering a bid for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Barbara Boxer.
"For the past 18 years, I have focused on putting California's working families first. From immigration reform to affordable healthcare to funding quality education, I have advocated for policies that give all families the same access to the American Dream," Sanchez posted on her Facebook page. "Californians deserve a strong voice in Washington and I have never been afraid to speak up, which is why I am seriously considering running for the United States Senate in 2016."
Sanchez posted her statement hours after California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris officially kicked off her bid for the Senate seat, which will be decided in 2016.
Sanchez, 55, has represented a swath of Orange County in Congress since 1997. She won the seat in 1996 by defeating conservative incumbent Rep. Bob Dornan in an ugly race. Sanchez, who ran as a moderate Democrat, was the first person of Mexican descent to represent Orange County, long a conservative bastion, in Congress.
Other top Democrats seriously considering runs for the seat are former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer.
Sanchez lacks the name recognition of Harris or Villaraigosa and the wealth of Steyer. But as a Latina running from Southern California, she could tilt the dynamics in a race that has the potential to slice up the electorate by geography and demography.