On Tuesday, California primary voters propelled two Democrats -- both minority women -- to a historic runoff. State attorney general Kamala Harris will face off against Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez on the November ballot for the state's open U.S. Senate seat.
Senate candidates Kamala Harris, Loretta Sanchez advance to general election
Harris, the clear front runner, clinched a first-place finish with 40 percent of the vote, emerging from a field of 34 candidates seeking the seat being vacated by retiring Senator Barbara Boxer. Early returns showed Sanchez, a 10-term congresswoman from Orange County, securing second place.
Under California election rules, only two candidates -- the top vote-getters, regardless of party -- advance to the November election. The matchup between Harris and Sanchez will mark the first time in over a century that Republicans will be absent from California's general election ballot for the Senate.
Both nominees represent a historic milestone for United States politics.
Harris is the daughter of immigrants from India and Jamaica. If elected this fall, she would become the first Indian woman to hold a U.S. Senate seat and only the second black woman elected to the Senate.
Sanchez, if elected, could become one of the first Latinas to hold a U.S. Senate seat. (Catherine Cortez Masto, who is also Hispanic, is the Democratic candidate for outgoing Sen. Harry Reid's seat in Nevada.)
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