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Ron Unz for U.S. Senate

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Harris Couldn’t Lose This Senate Debate

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STOCKTON — Purely as an act of political mischief, this Republican has toyed with the idea of voting in June for Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Santa Ana, in the race to fill U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer’s seat. Under California’s “top two” primary rules, two Democrats could face each other in November. Attorney General Kamala Harris, the Democratic front-runner, leans way too far left. Given Harris’ ties to national party biggies, I’d rather see the gaffe-prone Sanchez win the seat, as a Sanchez win would deprive Harris of a spot on a not-too-distant national ticket. Bonus points: Sanchez would be easier than Harris to take out in six years.

After watching Monday’s Senate debate at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, I no longer feel so frisky. On the issues, Harris and Sanchez are too alike. Both support free community college tuition. Both denounce Washington for deporting undocumented immigrants. They are different, however, when it comes to style. Sanchez too frequently speaks about herself, too frequently makes issues about herself — by citing her work on the House Homeland Security Committee, with scant mention of the many hearings she skipped — and too infrequently gets to the point. In landing this Democratic opponent, once again Harris is the most lucky politician in California.

So I’ll vote Republican — but which Republican?