Congressional Candidates Will Debate Who Is Best To Replace Loretta Sanchez

With Loretta Sanchez planning to replace Barbara Boxer next year in the U.S. Senate, her Orange County congressional seat will be open for a new face for the first time in two decades.

Five Democrats--who want to represent portions of Anaheim, Orange, Santa Ana and Garden Grove in the nation's capital--have filed formal statements of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and are set to debate this weekend.

Members of the public will be allowed to submit questions to the moderator, longtime union leader Ray Cordova.

Here are the declared candidates:

--Joe Dunn, former state senator and onetime executive director of the State Bar of California;

--Bao Nguyen, mayor of Garden Grove and a former school district board member;

--Lou Correa, former state senator and assemblyman;

--Jordan Brandman, city councilman in Anaheim.

--Herberto M. Sanchez, a Los Angeles community activist;

Irvine councilwoman Lynn Schott, a Republican, filed a statement of candidacy in May, but apparently has changed her mind about running; there are presently no announced GOP candidates.

In the money race, Correa is leading with $99,561 cash on hand. Nguyen reports having $50,357 and Sanchez claims $1,750 in the bank.

(Dunn and Brandman have not yet disclosed any financial activity to the FEC.)

The debate begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 17 at 11277 Garden Grove Boulevard, Suite 101A.

It is sponsored by the League of Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and the Orange County chapter of the NAACP.

Voters will decide the primary contest on June 7.

As a relative campaign novice, Sanchez narrowly won the seat in 1996 in one of the most historic upsets in California political history. She went on to crush every Republican who opposed her. But the congresswoman is trailing California Attorney General Kamala Harris in polling and fundraising to replace Boxer. Phil Willon at the Los Angeles Times reported today that Harris has $3.3 million in the bank, about double Sanchez's cash on hand.

The current congressional race is notable, in part, because two of the candidates--Nguyen and Brandman--recently announced they are gay.

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Email: rscottmoxley@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @RScottMoxley.

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