ATR’s first “2010 Spotlight” focused on New Hampshire, well this time the spotlight takes us all the way to the West coast in what is sure to be an interesting contest that highlights yet another  apparent recruiting coup for the NRCC, going up against a solidly popular Democratic incumbent.

California’s 47th district is a seat that has been held by Rep. Loretta Sanchez and in the last five election cycles she has garnered more than 60% of the vote in the district, winning 70% in 2008. Looking at that fact alone, one would assume she’s about as safe as anyone. That thought seems to be lost on many GOP leaders in DC, as they see Sanchez being one of the “best chances for gaining a seat” in 2010.

The man challenging Sanchez in the district is Assemblyman Van Tran. Tran was the first Vietnamese-American to be elected in any state legislature and he has long been seen as a potentially great recruit not only for the 47th district, but for the GOP in general as they attempt to expand the voting base after back-to-back National election defeats. A recent Politico article quoted NRCC recruiter and fellow Golden State Politician Rep. Kevin McCarthy speaking about Assemblyman Tran saying he “transcends Republican politics, and he will be able to reach out to independents and moderate Democrats.
Rep. Sanchez welcomes the debate that is on the horizon on many of the issues concerning the voters of 47th district, and it is an area where there is a large Latino population that outnumbers the Vietnamese population… with one important caveat: The turnout numbers for Vietnamese voters are larger than that of Latino voters.
Sanchez will hope to rely on her record serving the district, spanning over a decade; whereas Tran will look to appeal to the voters as a candidate who is in touch with the voter’s frustration over bailouts and such “it’s (Bank Bailout) a blank check the government has written on the backs of taxpayers.”
While the focus on winning the district may be noted by different tracks taken between the two candidates, the focus that will be put on this contest is not lost on either of them: “Both sides will be pouring resources into this,” said Tran about the race.
Assemblyman Tran has signed the ATR Taxpayer Protection Pledge, promising the voters of the district that if elected, he will oppose income tax increases. While Rep. Sanchez has not signed the Pledge, we here at ATR encourage her to do so, in the hopes that all of our elected officials understand the importance of making a commitment to the constituents that he/she will fight to keep their hard earned money in their pockets… something we can all agree on.