Story Summary

Congressional races

  • Port Commission Scott Peters challenges Rep. Brian Bilbray in District 52.
  • Democrat Juan Vargas beats Republican Michael Crimmins in District 51.
  • Incumbents representatives Duncan Hunter, Darrell Issa and Susan Davis are easily re-elected.

 

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vargas,-peters

Juan Vargas, Scott Peters

SAN DIEGO — Two new members of San Diego’s congressional delegation were sworn in by House Speaker John Boehner Thursday.

Scott Peters and Juan Vargas, both Democrats, are beginning their freshman terms following November election victories. Democrats will hold a 3-2 majority among local members of the House of Representatives.

Peters, a former port commissioner and ex-member of the San Diego City Council, unseated Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-Solana Beach, by a narrow margin in an election that wasn’t decided until about a week after voters went to the polls.

“You’re probably feeling a bit awestruck at this moment — history runs through this building,” Boehner told the new members. “And now, you’re among a select few to share in this privilege. And for those of you who are returning, who have walked these aisles before, maybe it’s time we get a little awestruck again.”

Peters said he was “honored and eager” to take office.

He said his wife and two children joined him at the ceremony. He also attended a bipartisan prayer service at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Washington, D.C., and held an open house at his Capitol Hill office.

Vargas, who resigned his state senate seat Wednesday, is also an ex- councilman. He is filling the seat of Bob Filner, the 10-term Democratic congressman who gave up his seat to make a successful mayoral bid.

Peters has been assigned to the House Armed Services Committee, while Vargas will join the Foreign Affairs Committee.

San Diego County is also represented by Rep. Susan Davis, D-San Diego; Rep. Duncan D. Hunter, R-El Cajon; and Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista.

SAN DIEGO — Two new members of San Diego’s congressional delegation are scheduled to be sworn-in by Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner Thursday.

vargas,-peters

Juan Vargas, Scott Peters

Scott Peters and Juan Vargas, both Democrats, will begin their freshman terms following November election victories. Democrats will hold a 3-2 majority among local members of the House of Representatives.

Peters, a former port commissioner and ex-member of the San Diego City Council, unseated Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-Solana Beach, by a narrow margin in an election that wasn’t decided until about a week after voters went to the polls.

Peters said he was “honored and eager” to take office.

“Personally, it will be the culmination of an exciting year for my family and me,” Peters said. “But mostly, I am enthusiastic about getting to work for San Diego.”

He said his wife and two children would join him at the ceremony, which will take place at 9 a.m. Pacific Time on Thursday. He also planned to attend a bipartisan prayer service at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Washington, D.C., and hold an open house at his Capitol Hill office.

Vargas, who was a state senator and also an ex-councilman, will fill the seat of Bob Filner, the 10-term Democratic congressman who gave up his seat for his successful mayoral bid.

Peters has been assigned to the House Armed Services Committee, while Vargas will join the Foreign Affairs Committee.

San Diego County is also represented by Rep. Susan Davis, D-San Diego; Rep. Duncan D. Hunter, R-El Cajon; and Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista.

SAN DIEGO – Scott Peters won’t be sworn in until January, but he already wrapped up his first week of orientation in Washington, D.C. Next week he’ll return for week two.

“It’s really just telling you kind of how the place works,” said Peters. “How to get started, how to set up your office, what jobs you’ll need to provide in the district and in Washington. So, it was a good start but a lot to learn.”

Technically, the Registrar of Voters Office won’t certify the election results until December 4, but last week Incumbent Brian Bilbray conceded. As of Monday afternoon, Peters was 5,337 votes ahead. Peters said he wouldn’t be moving forward in his new role unless his team was sure he won.

There are many big issues ahead and the most looming: the fiscal cliff. Current Congress will need to address it before the end of the year, but Peters is sure there will be a lot of work remaining when he enters office.

“Everyone’s going to have to contribute to solving this problem,” said Peters. “We know that the middle class has been bearing a large part of the cost of this. I think it’s only fair that those people, millionaires, billionaires, oil companies who’ve never been more profitable. They can probably contribute a little bit more. We’ll have to put controls on spending as well. We’re going to have to get help from everyone.”

Next time around Peters said the issue should be avoided altogether.

“Let’s come up with a budget,” said Peters. “Let’s act like adults. I support the notion that there’s a proposal that if you don’t make a budget you don’t get paid. I’m going to sign onto that bill one of the first things I do. Because we really need to make sure we’re at work, we’re working hard and we’re solving problems for the American people.”

Peters said putting partisanship aside will be critical.

“If we do all pitch in and work together,” said Peters. “I think we’ll be able to compromise and find results. That’s our goal. I would say starting out that seems to be the tone. The proof will be in whether we actually can pull it off.”

WASHINGTON — Rep. Brian Bilbray Friday conceded in the race to represent San Diego’s 52nd Congressional District and congratulated Scott Peters on his victory.

“With the majority of votes counted, I would like to congratulate Scott Peters in his bid to serve the citizens of the 52nd Congressional District and the people of San Diego,” Bilbray said in a written statement.

COMPLETE ELECTION RESULTS

With about 120,000 provisional and mail-in votes still to count, Peter had 50.7 percent of the vote and Bilbray trailed with 49.3 percent. Peters was ahead by 3,877 votes.

Peters said he has been working hard in Washington, D.C., preparing to get to work.

“I’m encouraged by the tremendous group of colleagues I’ve met here so far: freshman members of Congress, because like me, they all heard loud and clear during their campaigns that voters are tired of the partisanship, tired of politicians who put party over people,” Peters said. “I look forward to working with everyone to get things done for San Diego and the American people.”

He thanked those who walked, called, contributed and gave their support, and said it was their energy and enthusiasm that helped him win the close race.

Bilbray and Peters agreed that although the campaign was hard-fought, it was time to put it behind them.

“While Scott and I differed sharply on how to handle the issues facing our nation, now is the time to put those differences aside and find common ground to address our country’s many challenges,” Bilbray said.

Bilbray, who represented the 49th Congressional District from 1995 to 2001 and the 50th Congressional District since 2006, had been a top target of Democrats for years. He survived previous attempts to oust him, however redistricting moved him into some unfamiliar territory for this re-election bid.

Bilbray said he would continue fighting for issues he believed in and that benefit San Diego, but in a different capacity.

“I look forward to finally having the opportunity to spend time with my family and seven grand kids,” Bilbray said. “I wish Scott and his family the very best in his endeavors.”

Peters thanked Bilbray for his service and said he looked forward to his support as he transitioned into office.

Peters, who is currently a San Diego Port commissioner, served two terms on the San Diego City Council from 2000 to 2008.

SAN DIEGO –  A slim lead held by Port of San Diego Commissioner Scott Peters over incumbent Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-Solana Beach, rose significantly Saturday in the latest count of votes from Tuesday’s election released by the Registrar of Voters office.

Peters held an 814-vote margin over the incumbent congressman at the end of the day Thursday.

By the time counting of about 50,000 mail-in and provisional ballots ended Saturday, the difference was 1,334 votes out of more than 220,000 cast.

“We feel very comfortable with where we are,” said Peters.

“Next week I am going to Washington for orientation so I’m moving forward.  I expect to be representing the 52nd District of Congress and I’m looking forward to it.”

Representative Bilbray has yet to make a public comment on the results saying he will refrain from doing so until more votes are counted.

County staffers still have to count around 325,000 more ballots.

Settling most of the close races might not happen until later next week, according to Registrar Deborah Seiler.

Bilbray has fended off several attempts by Democrats to snatch away his congressional seat over the years.

However, he was forced by redistricting into some unfamiliar inland regions for his re-election bid this year.

Meanwhile, Solana Beach Councilman Dave Roberts maintained his lead in the county supervisor’s race over Bilbray’s chief of staff, Steve Danon.

Roberts, the deputy mayor, leads by 2,220 votes out of around 145,000 cast.

That reflects a net gain of more than 300 votes.

The winner will replace the retiring Pam Slater-Price to become the first new supervisor since 1995.

SAN DIEGO –Vote counting is scheduled to resume Thursday at the San Diego County Registrar of Voters.

Staffers at the San Diego County Registrar of Voters office were processing, but not actually counting, around 475,000 provisional
and mail-in general election ballots yesterday, according to Registrar Deborah Seiler.

The large amount of ballots is a looming issue, since several races from Tuesday’s election remain too close to call.

COMPLETE ELECTION RESULTS

Port Commissioner Scott Peters leads Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-Solana Beach, by 685 votes in his attempt to wrestle away the 52nd Congressional District seat; and Solana Beach Deputy Mayor Dave Roberts holds a 1,896-vote edge over Bilbray’s chief of staff, Steve Danon, in their race to succeed retiring county Supervisor Pam Slater-Price.

Several other election races are also still subject to change, including:
— Mike Hansen leads Sharon Jenkins by 35 votes for the second of two spots on the San Marcos City Council;
— Amanda Young Rigby leads Cliff Kaiser by 51 votes for the second of two seats on the Vista City Council; and
— Nancy Ann Hensch leads Rose Marie Dishman by 421 votes for the third of three seats on the Palomar College governing board.

Seiler told City News Service that counting will resume Thursday and could take a few weeks. Updated vote totals will be updated online on fox5sandiego.com by 5 p.m. each work day, she said.

It could be late next week before the large number of uncounted ballots is whittled well down, she said.

She said she heard no reports of serious irregularities on Tuesday.

“I think things went rather smoothly,” Seiler said.

Scott Peters has only a 600 vote lead over incumbent Brian Bilbray for California s 52nd District. Bilbray staffers are at the Registrar watching the votes being counted as absentee and mail ballots arrive.

SAN DIEGO —   Democratic Port Commissioner Scott Peters appeared Wednesday morning to have unseated Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-Solana Beach, in the 52nd District, but with less than 700 votes separating the two, provisional ballots might ultimately change the outcome.

Democrats believed they had a strong chance to unseat Bilbray, after redistricting moved his district into unfamiliar inland territory.

Peters attempted to paint Bilbray as a tool of far-right elements of the Republican Party who wants to privatize Social Security, make Draconian cuts to education and scientific research and reduce the social safety net for the elderly, ill and disabled.

Bilbray has denied Peters’ claims on entitlements and contends Peters is largely to blame for the city of San Diego’s one-time fiscal mess, which occurred while he was a councilman, and has taken to calling his opponent the “Bernie Madoff of San Diego.”

The reference to the financier who committed the largest financial fraud scheme in U.S. history relates to the underfunding of the city of San Diego’s employee pension system, which sent municipal finances into a tailspin.

Three other incumbents — Hunter, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, and Rep. Susan Davis, D-San Diego — were all re-elected.

SAN DIEGO — As the tally of votes continued late Tuesday, Scott Peters was narrowing the gap in an already tight race to represent the District 52 congressional district.

With 44 percent of the ballots counted, incumbent Brian Bilbray  led Peters 50.88 percent to 49.12 percent.

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