TheLiberalOC has confirmed that former Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez will announce Friday that she’s ending her campaign to seek the Third District Board of Supervisor’s seat. We’re told it’s a family decision and that Sanchez has placed her priorities exactly where they should be.
Her decision not to run opens the door for a Democrat in areas of the county where city voter registrations have gone primarily blue (Orange being an exception) during a presidential year where Democratic voter turnout will be especially high. Beating incumbent Don Wagner won’t be a cakewalk, not because he’s a Trump-loving Christian-conservative who’s policies don’t match his faith and in the back pocket of any developer with a checkbook, but the amount of money a Democratic candidate will have to raise in order to compete for the seat.
For Sanchez, Orange County owes a significant debt. Her election in 1996 gave Democrats here hope. For decades, she was the elected official whom every Democratic candidate sought an endorsement from. And that is still true today. Her votes in Congress largely reflected the District she was elected to represent and she was never boring.
Sanchez hosted a memorial service for the late Dot De Leon, a longtime OC Democratic activist, shortly after Dot passed away. The event was attended by about 50 people. What struck me about the service was how gracious Sanchez was is speaking of Dot, her grief over a friend’s passing masked with a smile and seeking to comfort others close to Dot.
While her name won’t be on the ballot in 2020, to think Sanchez won’t influence the future of Democratic politics in Orange County would be a mistake.