California Counts

A collaboration between Capital Public Radio, KQED, KPCC and KPBS to cover the 2016 elections in California.

 We Get Support From:
Become a Supporter 
 We Get Support From:
Become a Supporter 

Sanchez Missed More Votes For Most Of September Than Any Other House Member


File photo: Loretta Sanchez greets her supporters from the Ironworkers Union on the night of the California primary election in Anaheim, California, on Tuesday, June 7, 2016.


Mary Plummer | KPCC

Orange County Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez failed to show up for more votes than any other U.S. House member running for another office, according to an analysis by Roll Call covering the first three weeks in September.

Sanchez, who is seeking California's open U.S. Senate seat, showed up for only 22 of 63 roll calls through Sept. 22 as tracked by Roll Call, a Capitol Hill news organization.

Sanchez is one of seven U.S. representatives running for office who voted in fewer than 96 percent of the votes, the average for House members.

Sanchez tells KPCC she’s proud of her record and says one reason for her absences is that she’s been busy campaigning in a very large state.

"The media is the one that makes all this brouhaha," Sanchez says. "The people that I meet are like, ‘Go, Loretta, go. Talk to more people. Tell them what you’re about. You can win this!’"

Sanchez, who's increased her campaign events and activity since Labor Day, says she hasn’t received a single complaint from constituents about her recent voting record.

The congresswoman has been trailing in the polls against her U.S. Senate opponent, state Attorney General Kamala Harris. They are set to meet for a debate on Oct. 5 in Los Angeles.

Roll Call reported most of the missed votes were on suspension bills that are generally not controversial and can be moved along quickly. But it does not mean they were all insignificant, the news organization says.

Speaking from Orange County on Tuesday, a voting day for the House, Sanchez says she's spent about a third of the month in Washington, D.C., and says she’ll be present for important votes.

“I’ve had to decide — do I go back to cast a vote where it’s going to be 434 to 0 to rename a post office in Minnesota, or do I stay here and do I talk to people and let them know about my background, [and] give them a chance to meet me?” 

Congresswoman Janice Hahn, who is running for a seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, was also mentioned in the analysis. She had a 100 percent voting record for the same period. 

"My fundraisers and my campaign team would like for me to spend more time in Los Angeles. But I’ve been very clear from the beginning that this the job I have and I am not, you know, going to neglect it," she says, in an interview with KPCC from Washington, D.C. on Tuesday. Hahn voted on several issues on Tuesday.