SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) – Democratic congresswoman Loretta Sanchez says she’s entering the U.S. Senate race to succeed retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer.

Her candidacy injects competition in a 2016 race that had been shaping up as a runaway for another Democrat, state Attorney General Kamala Harris.

The announcement Thursday from the 55-year-old Sanchez came after two days of mixed signals. She and advisers said Tuesday that she was undecided, after a misfired email said she would announce her candidacy this week.

Sanchez is serving her 10th House term, representing a district based in Orange County.

Her candidacy creates a contrast with Harris.

Sanchez is Hispanic with a background in national defense issues and roots in Southern California. Harris is a lawyer from the San Francisco Bay Area whose father is black and mother is Indian.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.