OC Barbara Boxer Senate Seat Rodeo: Sanchez is In; Royce and Kashkari are "Unknowns"

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Facebook/Loretta Sanchez Campaign

Rep. Loretta Sanchez confirmed on her Facebook campaign page today what many assumed after Barbara Boxer revealed last week that she will not seek reelection in 2016: that the Garden Grove Democrat is seriously considering a run for the first open U.S. Senate seat since 1992.

Sanchez's post from three hours ago:

For the past 18 years, I have focused on putting California's working families first. From immigration reform to affordable health care to funding quality education, I have advocated for policies that give all families the same access to the American Dream. Californians deserve a strong voice in Washington and I have never been afraid to speak up, which is why I am seriously considering running for the United States Senate in 2016.

California Attorney and Democrat General Kamala Harris also used the Internet to disclose she is running for the Boxer seat, writing on KamalaHarris.org: "I'm excited to share with you that I'm launching my campaign to represent the people of California in the United States Senate."

Among other well known Democrats, Gavin Newsom, the state's lieutenant governor, announced Monday he will not throw his hat in the ring for Boxer's seat, but former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer are said to be considering bids,

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On the Republican side, Assemblyman Rocky Chavez (R-Oceanside) is considering a run, his press secretary Christopher Pickard confirmed to City News Service today. So are former California GOP chairmen Duff Sundheim and Tom del Becarro.

But you'd suspect the party is looking to recruit Republican with instant name recognition. Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who was crushed by Boxer in the 2010 general election, are reported to be "out" of the running by the Sacramento Bee, which does also note Fiorina has floated the idea of a presidential bid.

Meanwhile, the Bee has two Orange County Republicans among the "unknowns" when it comes to possible Senate runs: Rep. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton), who is a powerful chairman in the new House majority, and Irvine or Newport Beach or both's Neel Kashkari, who won the GOP nomination but not the office of governor in November.

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

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