California minority lawmakers competing for House Democratic leadership post

 Linda Sanchez (D-CA)

Linda Sanchez (D-CA)  (2008 Getty Images)

Rep. Loretta Sanchez of California, who is battling Kamala Harris for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Barbara Boxer, isn’t the only member of her family hoping to win office this fall and rise in the political ranks.

Her sister, also a congresswoman, Linda Sanchez, is vying to be vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus.

Sanchez, 47, is competing against Rep. Barbara Lee, 70, also of California, for the position, according to Politico.

Sanchez is chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus; Lee was formerly the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Both the chair and vice chair of the Democratic Caucus are elected by the House Democrats before the start of each new Congress.

Although Nancy Pelosi, 76, the California congresswoman who is House Minority Leader, and Steny Hoyer, 77, of Maryland, who is the Democratic Whip, have a solid hold on those two leadership spots in the House, the post of vice chairman offers a chance to help influence the future direction of the party.

The current vice chair, New York Rep. Joe Crowley, is limited from serving a third term in the office. Rep. Xavier Becerra of California chairs the House Democratic Caucus.

“Sanchez is a doer, while Lee is an ideologue,” Politico quoted a Democratic aide who was identified as someone “with knowledge of the race.” “So even though Lee has progressives … younger members are likely going to be with Sanchez, because she’s at least open-minded.”

Loretta and Linda Sanchez are the first sisters to serve in Congress.

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