U.S. Representative Loretta Sanchez lost her campaign money in the Kinde Durkee scandal – but it may not matter. Her new 46th congressional district “encompasses most of Santa Ana, parts of Garden Grove, Anaheim, Westminster and Fullerton. Previous drafts of the maps gave the area, which is home to Disneyland and a heavy population of immigrants, a slight Republican edge,” according to the L.A. Times. The district is 45 percent Democrat and 32 percent Republican, according to the O.C. Register.
And the “latest maps, keep the Latino voting population nearly the same as in her current district, but edge out some of the Asian American voters by splitting Little Saigon.” Not to worry if you are a Vietnamese American voter in the O.C. I hear that Congressman Dana Rohrabacher is going to retire in a couple of years. His new district includes a big chunk of Little Saigon. It is quite possible that the seat will end up being represented by a Vietnamese American some years down the road.
Only one Republican has declared that he is challenging Sanchez. That would be a totally unknown fellow named Pat Garcia. Chances are this is the first time you have even heard of him, so make of that what you will.
Taking the Vietnamese voters out of the district means that Orange County First District Supervisor Janet Nguyen will have to set aside her longtime dream of running for Congress and instead focus on her reelection. Nguyen is running unchallenged as the local Democrats appear to be afraid to anger the OCEA, which favors Nguyen, by challenging Nguyen.
The redistricting also means we may not see Sanchez dressing up in Vietnamese clothes anymore when she marches in the annual Tet Parade. Darn! That always made for such great photo opportunities.
So who else might challenge Sanchez? She already dodged a bullet when an elected official in Orange recently decided not to challenger her, due to a personal matter. From what I hear, last year’s Republican challenger, Van Tran, won’t be running again. And none of his allies will either. It would seem that Sanchez is about to be handed a free pass.
That is pretty ridiculous when you consider that she is going to have to run despite being weighed down by the very unpopular President Barack Obama – who did fairly well in Orange County in 2008, but won’t do well this time. He will be an anchor on the always dysfunctional O.C. Democrats this year – and Chapman University (Sanchez'[ Alma Mater) has already predicted that he will lose. They have only gotten their Presidential predictions wrong once – when they thought Nixon would defeat Kennedy.
Sanchez’ new district is more blue collar than ever and the O.C. Republicans’ cupboard in the district appears to be bare. Too bad because the right Republican could argue that Sanchez and her defense lobbyist husband, Col. Jack Einwechter, are the 1% – they surely make over a half million dollars a year in combined income – and may be banking a lot more than that. Ironically they mentioned the Occupy movement in their 2011 Christmas card.
Any challengers in Anaheim? Most of the Anaheim City Council is too new to run for Congress. And the Voice of OC has been busy exposing the new members for various scandals – perhaps ensuring they stay put.
Former Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle would have the resources and name I.D. to launch a credible campaign, but he is a proponent of the high speed rail boondoggle that Sanchez also supports. He would not be much of an improvement over Sanchez, who really isn’t nearly as liberal as other County Democrats. As a Republican for most of her adult life, she still has some fiscal conservative leanings – although they have faded quite a bit over the years. Just take a look at her Twitter feed for confirmation of her increasingly nutty ideas.
Any challengers in Orange? Orange may be too small a base for a congressional candidate. (The one possible candidate who pulled out was a Latino and may have caused Sanchez some grief). The only other option would be termed out Supervisor Bill Campbell, but he is old, tired and a major pro-union squish. Like Pringle he is of almost no value as a Republican candidate.
Any challengers in Fullerton? O.C. Supervisor Shawn Nelson could probably give Sanchez a run for her money, but he seems to be happy with his current position – and he has done a great job at the County level. We need him there. And Fullerton Councilman Bruce Whitaker has his hands full trying to take out the lame RINOs on the Fullerton City Council – but he would be an awesome candidate for Congress down the road.
The lack of available Latino Republican candidates is the price the OC GOP has paid for their incessant bashing of Mexican immigrants. Now they have no one to run against Sanchez in a year that she is most vulnerable. Karma!
The OC GOP would have to look at candidates who are no longer in office, but none of the ones I can think of would have much of a shot at Sanchez. Their only hope is that you can in fact run for Congress as a carpetbagger – but that sort of thing is not popular in the district. Just look at the train wreck that was Anaheim Councilman Harry Sidhu’s failed effort to take out Supervisor Nelson.
Sanchez will win then and when U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein retires, Sanchez will run for that seat and finally move on. And when that happens the OC GOP still won’t have anyone ready to run for her congressional district. Fail.