Peters held a six-to-seven-point lead over DeMaio throughout election night. Both are former members of the San Diego City Council.
Businessman Kirk Jorgensen and surgeon Dr. Fred Simon Jr., Republicans like DeMaio, were a distant third and fourth.
Peters ousted former GOP Rep. Brian Bilbray in a close race two years ago and has tried to craft a bipartisan image. DeMaio, who the Washington Post recently included in a list of the top 40 U.S. leaders under 40 years old, has taken on the persona of a “new generation Republican” who is willing to fight for reforms.
“He’s absolutely trying to reinvent himself,” Peters told KUSI about this fall’s opponent. “He’s been very persistent, but he’s got a four-year record (on the City Council) we should talk about.”
DeMaio told supporters that the primary victory was about returning the Republican party back to its roots of standing up for personal freedoms “where we allow individuals to decide social issues in the context of their own personal views on faith and family without interference from their government.”
Peters said DeMaio would seek out the Tea Party for support, but DeMaio said San Diegans need to reject “the extremes on both sides of the political spectrum.”
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista; Rep. Duncan D. Hunter, R-Alpine; freshman Rep. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego; and Rep. Susan Davis, D-San Diego, all held commanding leads against their challengers. Each will advance to the general election in November against the second-place finisher in their districts.