Capitol Alert

Loretta Sanchez gets another Republican endorsement for U.S. Senate

Loretta Sanchez, competing with fellow Democrat Kamala Harris for the U.S. Senate in California, appeared Thursday on conservative Hugh Hewitt’s nationally-syndicated radio show and came away with his unusual and unexpected endorsement.

Hewitt, who has known Sanchez for years, hosted the Orange County congresswoman on his program where he offered his support for her campaign, the first time he’s made such an endorsement in 16 years of hosting the radio show. He called the contest a test of whether “the politics of the center can actually work.” Harris, who this year won the overwhelming endorsement of the California Democratic Party, is viewed as more liberal than Sanchez.

“You’re center-left, and you and I are not going to vote for the same person for president. I’m not here to deceive anyone,” Hewitt told Sanchez. “You are a Democrat, but I believe Republicans ought to support you, because when there will be bipartisan issues in the United State Senate, you will not be on the far left edge.”

Sanchez in the weeks since emerging from the primary has sought to appeal to Republican and conservative voters despite polls showing many plan to sit out the race rather than vote for a Democrat to replace U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer. Last month, Sanchez announced the support of former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, a retired Republican businessman who similarly stressed her ability to work with Republicans and independents.

On the radio program Thursday, Hewitt said he could not imagine a scenario where he would agree with Harris. Hewitt said he spent part of Wednesday visiting with former California Republican Assembly Speaker Curt Pringle, of Anaheim, whom he described as “another Loretta Sanchez fan.”

“He’s all in for Loretta, most Republicans I know are all in for her, because she’s center-left,” Hewitt said. She’ll at least take the meeting, right?”

“We’ll be able to get in and say we’d like you to consider this position, and I’ve always found that business in Southern California thinks they get a fair hearing from you, Loretta,” he added. “They may not get what they want. They may not near the right answer at the end, but you talk to them, which is different from a lot of Democrats in D.C. these days.”

Christopher Cadelago: 916-326-5538, @ccadelago