Loretta Lorna Sanchez (born January 7, 1960) is an American politician who served in the United States House of Representatives from 1997 to 2017. She was first elected in 1996, when she defeated long-serving Republican congressman Bob Dornan by fewer than 1,000 votes. Sanchez represented the 46th district from 1997 to 2003, then California's 47th congressional district from 2003 to 2013, and again in the 46th district from 2013 to 2017. The district lies in central Orange County. Since 1996, Sanchez has been a member of the Democratic Party, and of the moderate/conservative House Blue Dog Coalition.