Democrat Lou Correa Elected in California’s 46th District

Incumbent Rep. Loretta Sanchez vacated seat for ill-fated Senate run

Lou Correa is heading to Congress after winning election in California's 46th District. (Photo courtesy Correa's Facebook page)

Democrat Lou Correa will defeat Democrat Bao Nguyen in California’s 46th District, The Associated Press projects.

The seat opened after incumbent Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez opted to run for the Senate. 

Correa led Nguyen, 70 percent to 30 percent with 42 percent of precincts reporting.

[Election Results 2016]

Correa and Nguyen finished 1-2 in California’s open primary in June. Under the state’s election rules, the top two vote-getters advance to the general election, regardless of party. 

California’s 46th District is anchored by Anaheim and located entirely within Orange County. The Hispanic-majority district also includes portions of Santa Ana.

Coming into Election Day, the race was rated Safe Democrat by The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call.

Prior to vacating her seat for a Senate run, Sanchez had easily won re-election by double digits in the heavily Democratic district going back to 1998.

[Sanders’ State Not So Golden]

Correa previously served in the state Assembly and state Senate, and currently serves on the board of the California High-Speed Rail Authority. He’s said he will continue to advocate for high-speed rail in Congress. 

He has stressed his bipartisan credentials and ability to work across the aisle. His years in the state legislature overlapped for a couple of years with current House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. “I get along with Mr. McCarthy very well,” he said. 

In the House, Correa hopes to work on federal policy to regulate medicinal use of marijuana. He said the federal government shouldn’t enforce federal laws against marijuana use in states that have legalized its use. 

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