In the June primary election, U.S. Senate hopeful Loretta Sanchez won the most votes in each of the four central San Joaquin Valley counties – Fresno, Madera, Kings and Tulare.
It may be why the Orange County Democrat keeps coming back.
Sanchez, currently a congresswoman, came in second in the June primary election and is facing the first-place finisher, fellow Democrat and frontrunner Kamala Harris, the state attorney general, in November. They are seeking to replace Barbara Boxer, who is retiring.
The Fresno visit came as news broke over an agreement for a single debate between Harris and Sanchez, to be held Oct. 5 in Los Angeles. The two campaigns had haggled over a debate schedule, with Harris committing to a second one in Sacramento and Sanchez seeking four debates, all in Los Angeles.
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On Wednesday, Sanchez spent an entire day in the Fresno area, meeting with the Fresno Area Chamber of Commerce, touring Parc Grove Commons, an affordable housing project in central Fresno, touring an almond orchard and picking up an endorsement from the Fresno State Young Democrats.
She also held a fundraiser.
Not surprisingly – outside of her chat with Preston Prince, CEO and executive director of the Fresno Housing Authority – the discussion topic started in familiar territory.
“Water, water, water, right,” Sanchez said. “Certainly everybody talks about water around here.”
Sanchez believes she’ll work harder than Harris for the Valley. She said Harris is solely focused on conservation as the solution to the state’s water woes.
In the Valley, we cannot conserve our way out of this. I’m doing my homework.
Rep. Loretta Sanchez, who is running for the U.S. Senate
“In the Valley, we cannot conserve our way out of this,” she said, citing that as well as recycling. “I’m doing my homework.”
As for the Parc Grove Commons visit, Sanchez said Prince and others at the Fresno Housing Authority reached out and offered the tour.
Sanchez said the Housing Authority invited her to see what they’re doing, hear about the challenges it faces at the federal level and learn how she might be able to help if she’s elected.
Prince said his office reached out to both Harris and Sanchez. They hope Harris will visit in the next week or two.
“When you look at Fresno County, we have a need of almost 40,000 affordable housing units, and federal and state dollars have dropped by 90 percent,” Prince said. “So we want to talk about the dollars needed to help the low-income families of Fresno, and how we’re using those dollars here, like at Parc Grove, to leverage it to really create vibrant neighborhoods for families.”
Sanchez said she hopes her visits will translate to voter support in November.
“The Valley was with us in the primary and we believe that they’re going to be strong for us in the general election,” she said.