The election to replace federal Senator Barbara Boxer is getting interesting with more candidates for the post. Open senate seats like this one following the Democrat’s retirement are rare. It has sparked a competition based on ideas to determine who the right person is to representCalifornia in Washington.
Until a few days ago, State Attorney GeneralKamala Harris was the only Democratic candidate, with major political support from the northern California party structure and strong fundraising. At the time, we said on this page that Harris’s strategy of discouraging potential rivals with strong early support was logical for the candidate, but bad for California given the lack of alternatives. Coronations have never been good.
For that reason,Representative Loretta Sanchez’s entry into the race is a welcome development. The Orange County Democrat brings a long track record in D.C. working on federal issues and a centrist position on economic matters. This race would benefit even more from the entry of experienced Congressman Xavier Becerra, who must decide whether to hold onto his high-ranking position in the Democratic hierarchy in the House or jump into the chase for Boxer’s seat.
2016 will mark the first time an open seat in the Senate is filled via an open primary. That means that the two candidates with the most votes will move on to the November election, regardless of their party.
To date there are two Republican candidates for Senate, Assemblymember Rocky Chavez and former party chairman,Thomas del Beccaro. Their chances are slim in a predominantly Democratic state like California, and even worse if they split the Republican vote. This opens the door for an all-Democratic final.
As it begins to take shape, the election will feature racial diversity representative of the stateas well as ideological/geographic diversity. There is currently a major political rivalry between Democrats from the north and south of the state. Decades ago, the north of the state was liberal and the south was conservative, but demographic changes such as immigration altered the political geography, turning previously conservative areas into Democratic strongholds, like Sanchez’s district.
We hope that this ends up being a race that enriches California and allows the best candidate to win.