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Loretta Sanchez makes pitch to be top Democrat on House Armed Services Committee

Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez
Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez
Kitty Felde/KPCC

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There’s never been a woman in leadership on the House Armed Services Committee. A congresswoman from Orange County wants to change that.

This is the week Democrats decide choose the ranking member – or chief minority member – of each House committee. With midterm defeats for most of the top Democrats on Armed Services, Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez of Garden Grove is making a bid for that committee's top Democratic job.

She says there's "a lot of California ranking members on other committees." That could work against her. One other hurdle? "We’ve never had a woman at defense."

The incoming committee chair is Congressman Buck McKeon of Santa Clarita. That could also be a challenge. Sanchez says geography can work for you or against you. "That he’s a Californian, it’s a positive thing, ‘cause I know how to work with him, much more than my other two colleagues. But at the same time, some could say, 'Why two Californians?'”

Sanchez is competing against two Democrats for the committee post. House Democrats could choose ranking committee members today.