Jana Lynne Sanchez was the Democratic nominee for Texas' 6th Congressional District for the U.S. House in 2018. Her race was one of three featured in the 2020 movie Surge, that appears on Showtime and Amazon. She also ran for the same seat in a special election in May 2021, but missed getting into the run off by 354 votes.
In 2018, Sanchez ran the most competitive race against a Republican in Texas' 6th District for at least 35 years: She is the first Democrat in the district to win the endorsement of the Dallas Morning News as well as EMILY's List and to be placed on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's (DCCC) Red-to-Blue Target List. She raised 10 times as much in campaign funds as any previous Democratic challenger and outraised Republican Ron Wright, who won the seat. Her campaign was added to the Texas Tribune’s hot list, which lauded Sanchez's organizational abilities.
She was also credited with uniting and organizing first-time women candidates running in Texas in 2018 and remains a central figure among Democratic candidates and activists.
Sanchez was raised in Ellis County, Texas, where her grandparents, who were migrant farm workers, settled in the 1950s. She graduated from Waxahachie High School in 1982 and earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Rice University.
Sanchez's career experience includes working as a political fundraiser, campaign manager, journalist and public relations consultant and spanned from Texas to California, London, Amsterdam and New York. In the late 1980s, she worked for Democratic elected officials in California, notably she served as Northern California Finance Director for Lt. Gov. Leo McCarthy and helped raise campaign funds for California's Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi, now a Congressman.
In 1993 Sanchez began her career as a journalist at the Baltimore Sun. She worked as a journalist in London from 1996 to 2000 when she became a correspondent at the Reuters news agency in Amsterdam. In 2005, she co-founded CitySavvy, communication consultancy agency based in London and Amsterdam and ran the agency until 2014, when she returned home to the US. She quit to run for Congress in 2017. She and her partners sold the agency in 2019.
So concerned about the 2016 election of Donald Trump, Sanchez decided to commit herself to opposing his administration. She was particularly alarmed about his anti-immigrant rhetoric, given her background as the granddaughter of a Mexican immigrant and President Trump's promise to end the Affordable Care Act. She is an advocate for immigrant rights and for universal affordable healthcare. Sanchez is aligned with centrist or moderate Democratic causes and issues.
Following the 2018 election, Jana advised several Democratic campaigns for US Congress and Texas State House and helped form Tarrant Together. Made up of women who ran for office in Tarrant County in 2018, the group registers and engages Democratic voters, and contributed to the win of President Joe Biden in Tarrant County, the first time a Democratic presidential candidate was won the county since 1976. She also serves on the board of WomenWin, a PAC that supports women candidates, founded by Col. Olson (USAF, ret.). She is on the board of Progress Texas, which is a statewide group focused on promoting progressive issues in the media. She also serves on the Dean's Advisory Board for the School of Social Sciences at Rice University.
Sanchez is working on a book for first-time women candidates now, which she is co-writing with Col. Olson.