Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: 1996, 9th term.

Born: January 7, 1960, Lynwood

Home: Garden Grove

Education: Chapman U., B.A. 1982, American U., M.B.A. 1984

Professional Career: Mgr. & financial analyst, Orange Cnty. Transp. Auth., 1984–87; Asst. vice pres., Fieldman, Rolapp & Assoc., 1987–90; Assoc., Booz, Allen & Hamilton, 1990–93; Principal, Amiga Advisors, 1993-96.

Ethnicity: Hispanic/Latino

Religion: Catholic

Family: married (Jack Einwechter)

Loretta Sanchez, a Democrat first elected in 1996, is as known for her personal exploits—her wacky Christmas cards featuring her cat Gretzky always draw attention, as did her YouTube-captured dance to the 2012 hit song “Call Me Maybe” —as her serious work on national security issues. She and her sister, Linda Sánchez, are the first sisters to serve in Congress. (Linda uses the accent mark with her surname; Loretta does not.)

Sanchez was raised in Anaheim. Her parents were Mexican immigrants, her father a machinist and her mother a secretary who worked to organize a union at the plant where she worked. She is nine years older than Linda. Sanchez graduated from Chapman University in Orange, and got an M.B.A. from American University in Washington, D.C. She worked as a financial analyst, providing advice on municipal finances to public agencies and private businesses, and then started her own firm in the early 1990s. In 1994, she ran for the Anaheim City Council under her married name, Loretta Sanchez-Brixey, and lost.

In 1996, she ran for the U.S. House, this time as Loretta Sanchez, against one of the most vocal conservatives, Rep. Robert Dornan. In the primary against three Anglo male Democrats, she won with 35%. That victory attracted little attention, not even from Dornan. But she shrewdly counted on increasing Latino turnout, plus attracting contributions from the many enemies that Dornan had made over a political career that went back to 1976. President Bill Clinton came to Santa Ana late in the campaign to stump for Sanchez and may have made the difference. She won by 984 votes, 47%-46%. Dornan charged vote fraud, and, using the privileges afforded to former members, he regularly appeared on the House floor trying to persuade his former colleagues to call for a special election. But in February 1998, the House Administration Committee upheld Sanchez’s victory.

In the House, Sanchez’s voting record has been in the Democratic middle, though she has been slightly more loyal to her party in recent years. The House-passed Violence Against Women Act included a measure of hers to update federal stalking laws, but she voted against the bill in May 2012 because she said it removed confidentiality protections for abused female immigrants. U.S.-Vietnam relations have been a focus for her. She accompanied Clinton on his 2000 visit there and met with dissidents to discuss human rights. In 2007, after three times having been denied a visa, she returned to Vietnam and again stirred controversy by attempting to meet with the wives of imprisoned dissidents and criticizing the government’s lack of openness. She tried unsuccessfully in 2012 to amend a Homeland Security spending bill to direct more money to anti-child exploitation and trafficking initiatives, citing them as particular problems for Vietnam. In January 2012, she was part of a group of lawmakers who met with Afghan opposition leaders in Berlin to discuss dysfunction in Afghanistan.

As the senior woman on the Armed Services Committee, she has tried to update the sexual assault crimes in the Uniform Code of Military Justice to comply with the way civilian sexual assault crimes are handled at the federal level. She has been a vocal advocate of allowing women to serve in combat. Sanchez is also the No. 2 Democrat on the Homeland Security Committee, where she has focused on port security, including her proposal for a secure, long-range automated vessel-tracking system. After Chairman Ike Skelton and the Armed Services panel’s other senior members lost their bids for reelection in 2010, she jockeyed to become the ranking Democrat. In the Steering and Policy Committee, she narrowly lost to Washington’s Adam Smith, 28-23, but took the fight to the full Democratic caucus. Smith and Sanchez tied on the first ballot, but Smith prevailed, 97-86, on the second round.

Until 2010, Sanchez had been reelected comfortably. Voters had grown accustomed to her spirited and unconventional style, including her quirky Christmas cards, which featured Gretzky until his death in 2010. Ever ambitious, Sanchez in 2009 briefly considered a run for California governor. A year later, however, she found herself in a tough fight.

Republican Assemblyman Van Tran, who fled Saigon with his family in 1975, raised over $1 million. An independent candidate, Cecilia Iglesias, threatened to siphon off Hispanic voters while many Vietnamese were backing Tran. The situation irked Sanchez, who asserted on a Spanish-language Univision show in September that “the Vietnamese and the Republicans are, with an intensity, (trying) to take this seat.” Tran responded that the district “belongs to the people and not an individual ethnicity.” But she recovered from that stumble, got party help—Bill Clinton headlined a rally for her—and raised more than $1.7 million. She won with 53% to Tran’s 39% and Iglesias’ 8%.

She had no such trouble in 2012, although she irked conservatives when she said on the MSNBC cable news network that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney “doesn’t even want us [Latinos] to be here.” A year earlier, her marriage to retired Army Col. Jack Einwechter was The Orange County Register’s second most-read political story of the year.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-2965

(202) 225-5859

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1211
Washington, DC 20515-0546

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-2965

(202) 225-5859

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1211
Washington, DC 20515-0546

DISTRICT OFFICE

(714) 621-0102

(714) 621-0401

12397 Lewis Street Suite 101
Garden Grove, CA 92840-4695

DISTRICT OFFICE

(714) 621-0102

(714) 621-0401

12397 Lewis Street Suite 101
Garden Grove, CA 92840-4695

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

PO Box 6037
Santa Ana, CA 92706

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

PO Box 6037
Santa Ana, CA 92706

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

PO Box 6037
Santa Ana, CA 92706

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

PO Box 6037
Santa Ana, CA 92706

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Annie Yea
Senior Defense and Foreign Policy Advisor

annie.yea@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2965

Aerospace

Carlos Urquiza
District Director

Agriculture

Lorenzo Rubalcava
Legislative Assistant

Carlos Urquiza
District Director

Appropriations

Lorenzo Rubalcava
Legislative Assistant

Banking

Carlos Urquiza
District Director

Commerce

Carlos Urquiza
District Director

Consumers

Carlos Urquiza
District Director

Education

Lorenzo Rubalcava
Legislative Assistant

Energy

Lorenzo Rubalcava
Legislative Assistant

Environment

Lorenzo Rubalcava
Legislative Assistant

Finance

Carlos Urquiza
District Director

Foreign

Annie Yea
Senior Defense and Foreign Policy Advisor

annie.yea@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2965

Health

Lorenzo Rubalcava
Legislative Assistant

Homeland Security

Annie Yea
Senior Defense and Foreign Policy Advisor

annie.yea@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2965

Housing

Carlos Urquiza
District Director

Human Rights

Annie Yea
Senior Defense and Foreign Policy Advisor

annie.yea@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2965

Intergovernmental

Carlos Urquiza
District Director

Labor

Lorenzo Rubalcava
Legislative Assistant

Land Use

Lorenzo Rubalcava
Legislative Assistant

Medicare

Lorenzo Rubalcava
Legislative Assistant

Military

Annie Yea
Senior Defense and Foreign Policy Advisor

annie.yea@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2965

Public Affairs

Carlos Urquiza
District Director

Public Works

Lorenzo Rubalcava
Legislative Assistant

Regulation

Carlos Urquiza
District Director

Religion

Annie Yea
Senior Defense and Foreign Policy Advisor

annie.yea@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2965

Small Business

Carlos Urquiza
District Director

Social Security

Lorenzo Rubalcava
Legislative Assistant

Technology

Carlos Urquiza
District Director

Telecommunications

Lorenzo Rubalcava
Legislative Assistant

Carlos Urquiza
District Director

Trade

Annie Yea
Senior Defense and Foreign Policy Advisor

annie.yea@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2965

Carlos Urquiza
District Director

Transportation

Lorenzo Rubalcava
Legislative Assistant

Carlos Urquiza
District Director

Veterans

Annie Yea
Senior Defense and Foreign Policy Advisor

annie.yea@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2965

Welfare

Lorenzo Rubalcava
Legislative Assistant

Women

Annie Yea
Senior Defense and Foreign Policy Advisor

annie.yea@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2965

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Loretta Sanchez
Votes: 95,694
Percent: 63.87%
Jerry Hayden
Votes: 54,121
Percent: 36.13%
2012 PRIMARY
Loretta Sanchez
Votes: 25,706
Percent: 52.09%
Jerry Hayden
Votes: 14,571
Percent: 29.53%
John Cullum
Votes: 5,251
Percent: 10.64%
2010 GENERAL
Loretta Sanchez
Votes: 50,832
Percent: 52.98%
Van Tran
Votes: 37,679
Percent: 39.27%
Cecilia Iglesias
Votes: 7,443
Percent: 7.76%
2010 PRIMARY
Loretta Sanchez
Votes: 17,409
Percent: 100.0%
2008 GENERAL
Loretta Sanchez
Votes: 85,878
Percent: 69.49%
Rosemarie Avila
Votes: 31,432
Percent: 25.43%
Robert Lauten
Votes: 6,274
Percent: 5.08%
2008 PRIMARY
Loretta Sanchez
Votes: 16,430
Percent: 100.0%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (53%), 2008 (69%), 2006 (62%), 2004 (60%), 2002 (61%), 2000 (60%), 1998 (56%), 1996 (47%)

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