Call to California Voters: Vote for the Candidate, Not the Party

As a Republican, former congressman from California’s 25th Congressional District (1993-2015), and chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, I witnessed first-hand Loretta Sanchez’s work ethic, astute judgment, and commitment to ensuring the safety of the people of California. I am proud to endorse the person, not the party, most qualified to represent the people of California, and I urge my fellow Californians to join me in supporting her.

Over the past two months, several Republicans from California, myself included, endorsed Democratic Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez for U.S. Senate. This decision was based on who is best qualified to represent the people of California. Our endorsement is a testament to the congresswoman’s unique ability to transcend partisan bickering and attain real policy results.

When I endorsed Loretta, I urged my fellow Californians to join me in supporting her because she is the leader we need.
Former U.S. Rep. Howard 'Buck' McKeon (R)

As a Democrat from Orange County in the minority party in Congress, she understood that she had to work with all of her colleagues on behalf of her district and the American people. Through her willingness to work with Republicans, she championed a number of bipartisan bills, including the Border Enforcement, Security and Technology Act, and the HS Human Trafficking Prevention Act of 2016. Together, we introduced the “Big Cats and Public Safety Protection” Act, which aided conservation efforts and restricted private possession of dangerous lions, tigers, and the like. Consistently, Loretta Sanchez has shown a commitment to putting partisanship aside to achieve what she believes is right.

As Republican support for Loretta has grown, I am not surprised that Kamala Harris’s campaign has attacked Loretta for her bipartisan approach. It is a shame that Harris would try to exploit Loretta’s support among Republicans to further divide the people of California. That may give us a preview of the type of senator Kamala Harris would be if elected: divisive, hyper-partisan, and unwilling to work with her Republican colleagues. That is not real leadership – it is politics as usual, and we have enough of that in Washington. We need a senator who represents ALL Californians, not just Democratic elites.

When I endorsed Loretta, I urged my fellow Californians to join me in supporting her because she is the leader we need. Loretta listens to all perspectives and will work in a productive, bipartisan way, like she has for 20 years in the House of Representatives. Instead of strident partisanship, Loretta will always put people ahead of politics.

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Loretta and I did not always agree on policy, but I always knew she had the best interests of our nation at heart. She has a deep knowledge of military and national security affairs, and she has always been a fierce advocate for our troops and veterans. I know she will ensure our homeland is secure, our military is trained and equipped to win, and our beloved veterans are cared for and respected. Unlike Harris, Loretta has the experience to keep California and America safe.

Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez has my support. She is the bipartisan, proven leader we need in the United States Senate.

Editor’s note: This opinion piece originally published on the OC Register’s website and has been modified slightly for publication on IVN. Republished with permission from the author.

Photo Credit: Ed Crisostomo/Orange County Register via AP