ENG: Loretta Sanchez (born January 7, 1960) is the U.S. Representative for California's 46th congressional district, serving since 2013. Previously, Sanchez represented California's 47th congressional district from 2003 to 2013 and the 46th district from 1997 to 2003. She is a member of the Democratic Party, and a member of the Blue Dog Coalition. The district lies in central Orange County.
Early life and education
Sanchez was born in California and graduated from Katella High School in Anaheim in 1978. Her father was a unionized machinist and her mother worked as a secretary.
Her Mexican immigrant parents had seven children. She joined the United Food and Commercial Workers when she worked as an ice cream server in high school, and received a union scholarship to college. She received her undergraduate degree from Chapman College in Orange in 1982, obtained her MBA from American University in Washington, DC in 1984, and was a financial analyst until entering the House. Sanchez describes herself as growing up a "shy, quiet girl" who did not speak English. She credits government with much of her success in public life.
Political campaigns - 1994
In 1994, Sanchez ran unsuccessfully for the Anaheim City Council under her then married name, Loretta Brixey.
In 1996, Sanchez ran as a moderate Democrat in the 46th District against six-term Republican incumbent Bob Dornan.
The bitterly fought race saw Sanchez charge that Dornan was out of touch with his constituency, especially after a distracting run for the 1996 Republican Presidential nomination. The 46th had always had a Democratic tilt, but became even more Democratic after the 1990 census when it received a considerably larger number of Hispanics than had previously been in the district. Sanchez won by 984 votes, and Dornan contested the election, alleging that many votes were cast by people who were not American citizens. A Congressional investigation found evidence that 624 votes were indeed cast by non-citizens. An additional 124 votes had already been thrown out by California officials. These votes were not enough to throw Sanchez's victory into doubt, so the investigation was halted and the outcome was upheld by a Republican-controlled Congress, making Sanchez the first American of Mexican heritage to represent Orange County in Congress. Dornan continues to assert that illegal voter registration of non-citizens was decisive in Sanchez's victory. In consultation with the INS, the House committee identified as many as 4,700 questionable registration affidavits; but the probe was dropped before these affidavits could be investigated. As Article I Section V of the Constitution of the United States provides that "Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members" the investigation was without binding authority.
1998 through 2008
In a 1998 rematch, she heavily defeated Dornan and has not faced serious opposition since. Her district was renumbered the 47th District after the 2000 census.
During that redistricting process, Sanchez hired lobbyist Michael S. Berman, brother of California Democratic Congressman Howard Berman,for "redistricting consulting" on her behalf. She paid Berman $20,000 for his work.
In 2006, she defeated Tan D. Nguyen (R) with 62% of the vote.
2003 Gubernatorial recall election
During California's Gubernatorial recall campaign, Sanchez was one of the first Democrats to break from Governor Gray Davis and state that a Democrat should run to succeed Davis in case the recall measure passed. Though she recommended that the Democratic candidate be California’s Senior Senator Dianne Feinstein, Sanchez stated that if no other serious Democratic contender stepped forward, she would be willing to run herself.
Many California Democrats ultimately adopted Sanchez’s position, paving the way for Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante to enter the race.
Sanchez won against Republican nominee Rosemarie Avila and American Independent Robert Lauten.
Sanchez was challenged by Republican nominee Van Tran and Independent candidate Ceci Iglesias. According to Roll Call, Sanchez considered running for governor or for the U.S. Senate in 2010. In November 2005, she opened an exploratory committee called People for Loretta 2010. However, in June 2009, she announced she would run for reelection to the House.
In September 2010, Loretta Sanchez appeared on the Spanish language network, Univisión and said that "the Vietnamese and the Republicans are – with an intensity – trying to take away 'our' seat", referring to her Vietnamese-born opponent, Van Tran. Sanchez also described Tran as "anti-immigrant".
In September, 2011 Sanchez's campaign treasurer, Kinde Durkee, was arrested on suspicion of mail fraud. Sanchez and several others of Durkee's clients found their campaign funds wiped out. Sanchez's chief of staff, Adrienne Elrod, remarked that "Kinde was someone whose services and counsel we trusted for many years. These charges if true are disheartening and a betrayal by a long time Democratic treasurer for many candidates and committees.”
Loretta and her sister Linda Sánchez are the first pair of sisters to serve simultaneously in the United States Congress.
In November 2002, Sanchez's younger sister, Linda, who is nine years her junior, was elected for the new 39th District. They are the first pair of sisters to serve simultaneously in the United States Congress.
In November 2010, Roll Call and the Orange County Register reported Loretta's engagement to retired Army Colonel Jack Einwechter. Einwechter is currently a lawyer practicing in Washington, D.C. The couple was married on July 16, 2011 in a private ceremony in Orange County, California.
In popular culture
The Hispanic Caucus Controversy was parodied on The Colbert Report on February 7, 2007.
Loretta Sanchez appeared as herself in the September 10, 2007 episode of The Closer entitled "Til Death Do Us Part, Part II". Within the fictional narrative of the show, she was briefly seen on the program Larry King Live being interviewed about a criminal legal case.
February 5, 2013