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Rep. Scott Peters Advances To Runoff With Wide Lead

Photo caption: From left to right: Scott Peters, Denise Gitsham and Jacquie Atkinson.

Photo credit: Courtesy Photos

From left to right: Scott Peters, Denise Gitsham and Jacquie Atkinson.

Audio

Democratic incumbent Scott Peters has the majority of the vote, and looked set to run off against Republican challenger Denise Gitsham in November.

UPDATE: 8:19 a.m. June 8, 2016

Democratic incumbent Scott Peters has the majority of the vote, and looked set to run off against Republican challenger Denise Gitsham in November. With 100 percent of precincts counted — except for late mail and provisional ballots — Peters had 58 percent of the vote and Gitsham held on to 16 percent. Jacquie Atkinson was trailing with 13 percent.

UPDATE: 11:56 p.m. June 7, 2016

Numbers barely budged through Tuesday night returns, with Peters holding well over half the vote, and Republican challenger Denise Gitsham set to run against him in the general election.

UPDATE: 10:16 p.m. June 7, 2016

Peters celebrated his early lead Tuesday night in San Diego, and told KPBS he has resisted attacking his Republican challengers. He added, "But we DID attack what we thought were extreme policies" proposed at the national level.

UPDATE: 9:53 p.m. June 7, 2016

With the initial bump of mail-in ballots counted and 13 percent of precincts, Democratic Congressman Scott Peters had 58 percent of the vote with Denise Gitsham at 17 percent and Jacquie Atkinson at 14 percent. The Democrat faced five Republican challengers in his divided district, and will face off with one of them in November as part of California's top two primary system.

Original post:

San Diego's 52nd Congressional District race is the most competitive U.S. House contest in the county — and for Democratic Rep. Scott Peters, this marks the third such fight in a row.

Special Feature View all Election Results →

Election Results

This year, five Republicans are challenging Peters as he seeks re-election to a third, two-year term. He initially won the seat in 2012 by beating incumbent Republican Brian Bilbray by 6,992 votes. In 2014, he won re-election by defeating Republican Carl DeMaio by 6,080 votes.

The district runs north from Coronado to La Jolla, and then east to include Carmel Valley, Scripps Ranch, Poway and Rancho Bernardo. It's competitive because a third of the district's registered voters are Republican, a third are Democrats and a third nonpartisan.

Of the five Republicans challenging Peters this year, Jacquie Atkinson and Denise Gitsham are better funded than the others and one of them is expected to face the congressman in November.

Atkinson is a Marine veteran who served in Iraq. After she was discharged, she took a job as a portfolio manager for the Joint Improvised Explosives Device Defeat Organization, working to reduce the impacts of improvised explosive devices.

Gitsham, an attorney, co-owns the firm SVN Public Relations. She worked for Republican political consultant Karl Rove during the 2000 presidential campaign and then in the White House under President George W. Bush.

The other Republicans in the race are Mike Canada, John Horst and Terry Reagan Allvord. Combined, they have raised less than $20,000, but they hope to get enough votes to make the November ballot.

In California, the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, move on to a runoff in November.

KPBS asked all six candidates to answer questions on four topics. To read their answers, click here.

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