Capitol Alert

Loretta Sanchez sets timeline for U.S. Senate decision

U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez, right, presents a Certificate of Congressional Recognition to Alejandra Garcia Williams, left, Mexico's Consul of Mexico in Santa Ana, Calif., during the official inauguration of the consulate in Santa Ana on Jan. 15, 2015.
U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez, right, presents a Certificate of Congressional Recognition to Alejandra Garcia Williams, left, Mexico's Consul of Mexico in Santa Ana, Calif., during the official inauguration of the consulate in Santa Ana on Jan. 15, 2015. AP

As the list of potential suitors winnows, Rep. Loretta Sanchez said Tuesday that she will take several months to decide on a run for U.S. Senate.

In a message to supporters, Sanchez wrote she is seriously considering campaigning to replace U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer in 2016, adding that she could bring an important perspective to the upper house.

“However, this is not a decision I want to make in haste,” wrote Sanchez, a Garden Grove Democrat. “There are still 22 months before the 2016 general election and I will take the next few months to consider how I can best serve our great state.”

Last week, billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer withdrew himself from consideration, leaving Attorney General Kamala Harris as the only declared candidate. Sanchez, elected to the House in 1996, has nearly $520,000 in her campaign account, but she would need to raise a significant sum to compete in the primary. Sanchez’s protracted announcement gives her more time to assess a field that may include former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Anticipating decisions from Villaraigosa and others, Harris’ campaign team has spent the ensuing days working to build on her presumed frontrunner status. On Tuesday, Harris added to her early list of supporters, releasing the endorsement of Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey. A day earlier, Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson, who is close with Villaraigosa, also said he was backing Harris.

Call Christopher Cadelago, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 326-5538. Follow him on Twitter @ccadelago.

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