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Candidates Tout Experience During First 52nd Congressional Debate

Candidates Tout Experience During First 52nd Congressional Debate

Aired 2/22/12 on KPBS News.

Incumbent Republican Congressman Brian Bilbray faced three challengers in the first debate for the 52nd Congressional District.

The newly redrawn 52nd Congressional District offers candidates a challenge: its voters are neither predominantly registered Republicans nor Democrats.

Because the outcome is unpredictable, two Democrats have jumped into the fray to defeat incumbent Republican Brian Bilbray.

Democratic Candidates Scott Peters, Lori Saldana,  and Republicans John Stahl...
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Above: Democratic Candidates Scott Peters, Lori Saldana, and Republicans John Stahl and Brian Bilbray debate for the 52nd Congressional Seat at the Rancho Bernardo Golf Club, Feb 21st 2012

During a debate on Tuesday, former City Council President Scott Peters had to answer a question about his time at the city of San Diego when the pension scandal erupted.

“I don’t claim that I didn’t do anything wrong—I did,” he said. “I don’t claim that I finished the job, but I’m the only one on this panel who’s actually done meaningful government pension reform.”

Peters said his history as council president and chair of the Port District proves his ability to work in a non partisan way to get things done.

Lori Saldana, who served six years in the California Assembly, focused on her values of environmental protection and security for families and seniors.

“We are transitioning from a decade of war and combat to a new era, “ she said, “when we need to reinvest in the home front.”

Republican John Stahl, the new face on the scene, hasn’t served in public office. His background is in the Navy and in business. He has put $300,000 of his own money into his campaign. Stahl said he would consult business before passing any new regulations.

“Congress should get 15 percent pay cuts, “ he said. “You have to get back to citizen legislators, common sense solutions.”

Republican incumbent Brian Bilbray, whose 50th district borders morphed into the 52nd with redistricting, had a sympathetic audience: the debate was put on by The Conservative Order for Good Government. He reminded them of his staunch opposition to immigration reform containing amnesty.

“I’m being attacked from the right and the left,” he said after the debate. “And I always have been."

Bilbray, who first ran for Congress in 1995, has been in and out of the House for more than a decade. He lost his seat to Democrat Susan Davis after redistricting in 2000.

But in 2006 he won the 50th congressional seat after Randy Cunningham resigned, and he has represented it ever since.

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Avatar for user 'WayneIverson2012'

WayneIverson2012 | March 3, 2012 at 3:07 p.m. ― 4 years, 11 months ago

It is ironic that an organization going by the name of Conservative Order of Good Government would suppress a full and honest discussion among all the candidates running for Congress in the 52nd District. I would have gladly participated but was not given sufficient notice or invited to be there.

I am Dr Wayne Iverson who launched my campaign Oct 1st after having a successful Exploratory Committee confirm the San Diego community needed a new Congressmen who was not a professional politician. Although I am a Republican, I am certain I can do a good job representing everyone.

This years election will weigh heavily at the polls for candidates who will seek to replace Obamacare, maintain lower taxes and go as a civilian Representative. These are my goals for which I have a demonstrated track record.

Let's hope future events featuring candidates in the 52nd Congressional race will give the people of San Diego a chance to see all their choices so they can decide who will serve them best in Washington DC.

Wayne Iverson, MD, MBA

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