Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Congressman Brian Bilbray is leading Port Commissioner Scott Peters in the race for the 52nd Congressional District.
With 22.5 percent of precincts reporting, Bilbray has 51.6 percent of the vote, Peters 48.4 percent.
Peters told KPBS that he remains optimistic the numbers will turn in his favor before the night is finished. "Waiting is all we can do," Peters said at Golden Hall in downtown San Diego, "that and saying hello to folks down here."
The contest for the new district between the Democrat Peters and the Republican Bilbray has been tight and heated since the June primary, and has attracted national attention. Because the Congressional seat is one of the few Republican seats seen as vulnerable, Super PACs on both sides have plowed millions into the race.
Created by last year’s redistricting process, the 52nd district includes Coronado, Point Loma, Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and parts of North County, including Poway and Rancho Bernardo.
Bilbray, who currently represents the 50th district, was running for the newly redrawn 52nd, which has no incumbent. Peters is currently San Diego’s Port commissioner.
The two candidates hold sharply different views on a variety of issues, including pension reform, social security and Medicare, and the Affordable Care Act.
During a KPBS debate in March, Peters said he would support overturning the Supreme Court’s unrestricted-campaign-financing decision, “Citizens United,” while Bilbray said, although he does not like the decision, he will abide by the Supreme Court’s ruling.
"I accept it, I don't like it, but that's what being American is all about," he said.
Peters expressed support for President Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act, saying there is “a lot to like” in the act, but that the government needs to work on cutting its cost. Bilbray said he does not like the act, and that government should have worked harder to negotiate with insurance companies and to get “trial lawyers out of the operating rooms.”
Bilbray voted last January to repeal the act.
Peters said he supports same-sex marriage; Bilbray said he does not. Both Peters and Bilbray do not support legalizing marijuana, a point that has pitted Bilbray against his daughter Briana, who is a terminal cancer patient. Briana Bilbray appeared in a controversial ad endorsing her father's campaign in October.
During separate KPBS interviews in October, Peters said the U.S. needs an immigration policy that is “tough, fair to taxpayers and practical.”
As chairman of the powerful Immigration Reform Caucus, Bilbray has taken hard anti-immigrant stances. Immigrant rights activists put pressure on Bilbray during his campaign for his stance on immigration.