Calif. rep throws hat in for Boxer's seat
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California Rep. Loretta SanchezLoretta L. SanchezIn her three elections, Kamala Harris has learned to adapt — and win Kamala Harris is Donald Trump's worst nightmare Disputed North Carolina race raises prospect of congressional probe MORE on Thursday announced a bid to replace retiring California Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerTrump administration halting imports of cotton, tomatoes from Uighur region of China Biden inaugural committee to refund former senator's donation due to foreign agent status Questions and answers about the Electoral College challenges MORE, a fellow Democrat, setting up an intraparty fight over the seat.

"I am running for the U.S. Senate to give a voice to all Californians of every background and walk of life," Sanchez said in prepared remarks while flanked by supporters at the Santa Ana Train Station.

"I truly believe that together we can create a renaissance of the American dream and return it to The Golden State, which has always been a beacon of hope, progress and the promise of America," she said in her remarks.

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Sanchez, who represents an area based in Orange County, noted that her campaign would include a focus on inspiring "women, minorities and young people," among other groups.

Her entrance into the race sets up a fight with state Attorney General Kamala HarrisKamala Harris Harris speaks with Netanyahu amid ICC probe Senate votes to take up COVID-19 relief bill Why is Joe Biden dodging the public and the press? MORE (D), who has major name recognition and is considered a favorite to succeed Boxer.

Harris is already raking in cash from big-name celebrities.

Sanchez, who first entered Congress in 1997, touted her opposition to the Iraq War and experience sitting on the House Armed Services and Homeland Security committees following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

"As the most senior woman in Congress today on military and national security issues, I know what needs to be done to ensure our nation is secure and our troops are equipped and ready," she said.

Sanchez sent mixed signals earlier in the week after multiple outlets reported that, according to a draft statement, she would make her announcement Thursday; that was they later walked back.

Earlier this week, fellow California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff announced he would not be seeking Boxer's seat; former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa declined to enter the Senate race in February.

California Democratic Reps. Xavier Becerra and Jackie Speier are reportedly among those still weighing bids.

The Senate Democrats' campaign arm welcomed Sanchez into the race.

Between the party's two declared candidates, "Democrats are well-positioned to retain this seat and continue Barbara Boxer’s legacy of fighting for California," Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman Justin Barasky said in a statement.

— This story was updated at 3:05 p.m.