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Peters Increases Lead Over DeMaio In Saturday’s 52nd District Vote Total

Photo caption: Democratic Rep. Scott Peters talks to the news media and supporters election ...

Photo credit: Milan Kovacevic

Democratic Rep. Scott Peters talks to the news media and supporters election night at the Westin Hotel in downtown San Diego, Nov. 4, 2014.

Democratic Congressman Scott Peters increased his lead over Republican challenger Carl DeMaio in new vote totals posted online by the San Diego County registrar of voters Saturday.

Peters now leads by 4,771 votes, with 6,000 to 8,000 ballots in the 52nd Congressional District left to count, said Registrar of Voters Michael Vu.

After Peters widened his lead Friday evening to 4,491 votes over DeMaio, the Associated Press declared Peters the winner. But Peters has not declared victory, and DeMaio has not conceded.

Photo by Angela Carone

Carl DeMaio surrounded by supporters on election night at the U.S. Grant in downtown San Diego, Nov. 4, 2014.

DeMaio last posted on social media shortly before the vote count was updated on Friday that "10,000 votes will still be left to count."

Vu said about 4,000 ballots from the 52nd District were counted Saturday, and the remaining ballots will be counted on Monday. The update from that count will be posted online at 5 p.m. Monday.

Shortly after the Associated Press named Peters the winner on Friday, both U-T San Diego and NBC San Diego reported new details in a series of unusual events that have unfolded in the 52nd District race since May.

Using court records unsealed Friday, the news outlets reported that Todd Bosnich, a former DeMaio staffer who accused DeMaio of sexual harassment, had more contact with the Peters campaign than previously disclosed.

KPBS reported this week that Bosnich had been in communication with Peters' campaign manager, MaryAnne Pintar. Pintar would not say when that communication began.

On Friday, the U-T reported:

"Pintar told police she received four emails from Bosnich on May 29, some of which contained 'campaign strategy and campaign specific information.' She turned them over to police two days later.

Pintar also told police she met with Bosnich on June 5 at a Starbucks coffee house. She said that, at the meeting, he gave her a copy of a radio interview he did describing the allegations — an interview that has not aired yet — and a copy of the DeMaio 'media plan' for the campaign.

Those items were given to police on June 11, the records show."

KPBS reported last month that a copy of an interview Bosnich did with KFMB radio host Mike Slater was sent to CNN and other national news outlets. Slater said he didn't remember if he gave Bosnich a copy of the interview, and Bosnich denied distributing it.

U-T San Diego also reported that the affidavits used to seek a search warrant of Bosnich's home include the sworn statement from a detective: "Based on the above information I believe Todd Bosnich burglarized the Carl DeMaio campaign office located at 9625 Black mountain road #205 between May 27, 2014 at 215 hours and May 28, 2014 at 0800 hours."

Bosnich has denied breaking into DeMaio campaign headquarters. The District Attorney's Office last month said there was not enough evidence to bring charges in the break-in, nor in the sexual misconduct allegations made by Bosnich against DeMaio.

Last month, DeMaio accused Peters of receiving a copy of a “campaign playbook” that was stolen during the break-in. Peters acknowledged that “information was forwarded to our campaign" in early June, but said the campaign immediately turned it over to the police. He said he never saw the information and that his campaign manager “looked at it enough to know what it was.”

U-T San Diego also reported that Pintar made copies of the "media plan" Bosnich gave her and gave those copies to Peters. Peters then gave the copies to his wife, who told police on June 9 about the campaign materials, according to the U-T. It reported police collected the materials on June 11.

On Friday, Pintar said in a statement that Peters' description of events was accurate.

"Rep. Peters never said we turned over any ‘playbook’ within 24 hours," she said. "We have consistently said we never received a playbook. He said we received information that was forwarded to the police immediately or within 24 hours. He was referring to the initial emails Bosnich sent to us prior to the primary in which he stated that Carl DeMaio had sexually assaulted and threatened him."

Her statement continued:

"We contacted the police chief right away with this information because we were concerned about Todd's welfare. She had a detective contact me, and I met with detectives at the police station and gave them the emails Todd had forwarded to me.

"I met with Mr. Bosnich shortly after the primary, on June 5, at his request. At that meeting he gave me what looked like draft campaign mail pieces that he had printed from his computer and a tape of his interview with Mike Slater. I left on vacation right after that and thus did not speak with a detective until a few days later when a car in front of my home had been burglarized. At that time, I told him what Todd had given us and we made them available for pick up. The police didn’t pick them up until a few days after that."

Pintar said Saturday that Peters was out of the country and wasn't immediately available for comment. Peters posted on Twitter Saturday afternoon that "if I misstated the timeline it's on me not (Pintar). We asked for law enforcement, didn't comment for politics and helped cops. Still will." He also wrote that Pintar is "talented & high-integrity" and said "she thought only about doing the right thing."

The DeMaio campaign did not respond Friday or Saturday to requests for comment.

More than $10 million was pumped into the 52nd Congressional District race that pitted two former San Diego city councilmen against each other. Peters won his seat two years ago in a tight race when he upset GOP incumbent Brian Bilbrary.

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Claire Trageser
Investigative Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksAs a member of the KPBS investigative team, my job is to hold the powerful in San Diego County accountable. I've done in-depth investigations on political campaigns, police officer misconduct and neighborhood quality of life issues.

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