Former Congressman Howard Philip “Buck” McKeon, a Republican, this week endorsed Rep. Loretta Sanchez of Orange County in her fight with fellow Democrat Kamala Harris for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Barbara Boxer.

“I have worked closely with Loretta for many years and have seen first hand her ability to put partisanship aside an work with Democrats and Republicans to help move policies forward that better protect our troops and homeland,” said McKeon, the former chairman of the Armed Services Committee in the House of Representatives.

Sanchez responded: “I am extremely honored to have the vote of confidence of my friend and and former colleague.”

The remarks appeared in a statement released by the Sanchez campaign.

Polls have shown Harris, California’s attorney general, with much greater popular support than Sanchez, suggesting Sanchez would have a hard time being competitive in November without substantial Republican support.