Loretta Sanchez announces Senate run in California

Santa Ana, California, May 14 (EFE).- Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) on Thursday announced her candidacy for the Senate in the 2016 elections.

She announced her bid to become the first Hispanic woman to serve in the Senate at a well-attended event outside the Santa Ana train station, in Orange County, accompanied by her mother and husband.

The congresswoman said that the local drought, terrorism and immigration policy would be the main issues in her Senate run.

"I am here to announce that I am a candidate for the United States Senate," said the 55-year-old Sanchez, surrounded by family and supporters.

She has represented California's 46th district in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1997 and aspires to succeed veteran Sen. Barbara Boxer, 74, who is retiring after more than two decades in office.

"I'm running for the Senate because I believe in fighting for what's right, and for what's in your heart, and that's why I voted against the Iraq war when everyone was beating the war drums," she said, going on to emphasize her Latino roots and her 19 years of experience in Congress, especially in the area of national security.

So far, California Attorney General Kamala Harris, also a Democrat, is the heavy favorite in the campaign, launching her Senate run last January and garnering significant support since then particularly among Hollywood and Silicon Valley executives, as well as the backing of well-known labor leader Dolores Huerta.

So far, Sanchez and Harris have as their Republican challengers Hispanic assemblyman Rocky Chavez and the former head of the state Republican Party, Tom Del Beccaro.