Capitol Alert

Loretta Sanchez super PAC formed to push her Senate bid into top-two

Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Orange, is getting some outside help as she campaigns for the U.S. Senate.

California’s New Frontier, a super PAC formed to support her candidacy, is gearing up to push her into the top-two positions in the June 7 primary against fellow Democrat Kamala Harris and a group of lesser-known Republicans.

Stu Mollrich, a consultant for the PAC who has done work for former GOP Govs. Pete Wilson and Arnold Schwarzenegger, said it has raised about $50,000 so far (“enough to get the lights turned on,”) but is in talks with politically active donors who are in position to donate well beyond the $2,700 maximum allowed. Super PACs also are permitted to solicit unlimited contributions from corporate donors.

Mollrich said the PAC will focus its public outreach on Sanchez’s strengths, including with Latino, Southern California and Central Valley voters.

The PAC, which will disclose its donors, will be funded by a mix of Democrats, independents and Republicans, Mollrich said, though he declined to provide names. Organizers hosted a briefing for potential donors weeks ago in Orange County attended by Sanchez (she had to leave, per the law, after giving brief remarks).

“By the time our next filing comes out you’ll see some interesting names out there,” he said.

He said the state’s lopsided registration figures favoring Democrats, and the clustering of four GOP candidates – Tom Del Beccaro, Duf Sundheim, Phil Wyman and Ron Unz – have given pause to Republican benefactors interested in weighing in on their behalf.

“They are all looking at this race, and I can tell you not one major Republican donor who I have spoken to believes any of the Republican candidates will win the general election,” Mollrich said.

“So people are saying ‘OK, as they have in (legislative races), we have two Democrats: Is there one that is more acceptable – pro-growth, pro-jobs – and the contrast is clear between Harris and Sanchez.”

“There is just a lot of interest.”

Christopher Cadelago: 916-326-5538, @ccadelago