By Chisato Iversen
Miriam Raftery contributed to this report
Photos, left: Loretta Sanchez and Kamala Harris
June 9, 2016 (San Diego)--Three dozen candidates vied in the primary race to replace California’s U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, a long-serving Democratic who is stepping down. The November run-off will be between two Democratic women, both minorities: the state’s Attorney General Kamala Harris, and and 10-term Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez.
Harris is leading with 1.5 million votes or 40% and Sanchez has 640,000 votes with 17%. Finishing a distant third place was Duf Sundheim, the Republican Party Chair. All remaining candidates were in low single digits, with 100% of precincts counted statewide and only some mail-in and provisional ballots remaining.
Boxer has been a US Senate since 1993 for the past 24 years and is a member of the Democratic Party. “I am never going to retire — the work is too important, but I will not be running for the Senate in 2016,” she has stated. “I want to come home to the state that I love so much: California.”
Harris and Sanchez has many similar views, including immigration reforms and abortion rights. Harris states that “An undocumented immigrant is not a criminal.”
After her victory, Harris stated, “We have run a campaign, and we will continue to run a campaign, that is about fighting for the ideals of our country. We have so many challenges as a country and we are prepared to lead,” she added, the Washington Post reports. Harris cited passing comprehensive immigration reform, combating climate change, reforming the criminal justice system and “eliminating that income divide that is making so many families suffer.”
Sanchez touts her record of achievements in Congress, notably her votes against the Iraq War, financial bailout and the Patriot Act, as well as her service on the Armed Services and Homeland Security committees. “It’s about taking the tough votes,” Sanchez said, the Sacramento Bee reports.