Rematch Likely for Rep. Linda Sanchez, GOP Foe

Posted October 1, 2003 at 5:05pm

Financial adviser Tim Escobar (R) is preparing for a rematch with freshman Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) in the 39th district. He is gearing up by referring to Sanchez as a “Davis Democrat.”

Although he hasn’t made a formal announcement, Escobar made his intentions loud and clear when he took out a full page color ad in the fall issue of Moxie — the quarterly magazine of the California College Republicans — with a photo of him and President Bush shaking hands.

Escobar, 37, ran against Sanchez in 2002 when the southeast Los Angeles County 39th district was first created, but lost 55 percent to 41 percent. The ex-Army helicopter pilot has high hopes for the Oct. 7 recall election of Gov. Gray Davis (D) — not only for the prospect of a Republican governor, but because it represents “major tectonic shifts in California.”

“The understanding by the average voter is growing … right now [they are] in the process of rejecting Davis Democrats — and I would put Ms. Sanchez among those — where it’s spend, spend, spend, tax, tax, tax,” Escobar said.

“If the recall is successful, then literally the dynamics change because every Democrat becomes Gray Davis.”

Sanchez’s campaign consultant, Bill Wachob, disagrees.

“Those charges are just wrong — it’s wishful thinking at best,” he said. “It’s a stretch to think that Linda Sanchez could ever look like Gray Davis either substantially or on a practical basis.

“It’s a Republican hope that they can somehow turn this into a Republican referendum for a Republican policy,” Wachob added.

Escobar, who said he will emphasize issues of “hope and opportunity” during the campaign, said he has $50,000 in pledges for campaign contributions and hopes the perceived failures of the “Davis Democrats” will bring in more funds.

Linda Sanchez, the younger sister of Rep. Loretta Sanchez, had $68,000 in the bank as of June 30 after spending more than $1 million in the 2002 campaign (Escobar spent $218,000). The 39th district is more than 60 percent Hispanic and would have given Al Gore 62 percent of the vote in the 2000 presidential election.

Is Escobar worried that he might lose again?

“The community has asked me and encouraged me to fight on their behalf against someone who does not share their same values,” he said. “The voting record that Sanchez has put in is against our community, against our families, it is focused on one liberal ideology that doesn’t have any roots [in the 39th district].

“People have said to me, ‘Tim, you’re the only one that can beat Sanchez.’”