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Congressman Peters Faces Challenge From Fellow Democrat Over Green New Deal

 Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego is shown in this undated photo.

Credit: U.S. House Office of Photography

Above: Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego is shown in this undated photo.

Four-term Democratic Congressman Scott Peters has fended off multiple Republican challenges to his 52nd district seat over the last decade.

But now a fellow Democrat wants to unseat the former environmental lawyer over his stance on the Green New Deal.

Peters has said he appreciates the enthusiasm around the proposed Green New Deal, which strives to get the U.S. economy off of fossil fuels and create lucrative jobs in clean energy.

“I’m totally on board with getting to net-zero by mid-century,” Peters told KPBS last year. “But the Green New Deal is not bold in that it doesn’t bring anyone else in. It is the easiest thing in the world to go talk to a bunch of people you agree with and do a fiery speech.”

Photo credit: Casady For Congress Website

Democrat Nancy Casady, who is challenging fellow Democrat and incumbent Scott Peters in the 52nd Congressional District, is pictured in this undated photo.

Democrat Nancy Casady sees Peters’ disapproval of the Green New Deal as reason enough to get in the 52nd Congressional race to topple Peters.

“I say that we are currently in a climate emergency and that we will face tipping points within the next few years and maybe sooner,” Casady said during her summer announcement that she was entering the race. “He says bold climate action means talking to moderates and those who don’t currently believe the climate science. I say there are plenty of people who understand the looming and who are ready to demand the courageous action envisioned in the Green New Deal.”

UC San Diego Political Science Professor Thad Kousser said Casady’s goal is a longshot.

“Even though the progressive left is becoming a stronger and stronger voice within the Democratic Party, it would still be incredibly surprising if a popular incumbent in a fairly moderate seat is ousted by a liberal,” Kousser said.

Reported by Amita Sharma , Video by Matthew Bowler

Peters faces two other challengers: public finance banker Ryan Cunningham, who has no party affiliation, and Republican businessman Jim DeBello. With a 35,000 Democratic voter advantage, Kousser said the 52nd Congressional District is no longer competitive.

“Donald Trump has really changed the image of the Republican party, made it much less friendly to California voters and has a very hard for any Republican candidate to escape the shadow,” he said.

The 52nd District stretches across much of coastal San Diego County, including Mission Beach, La Jolla and Downtown San Diego.

Listen to this story by Amita Sharma.

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Photo of Amita Sharma

Amita Sharma
Investigative Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksAs an investigative reporter for KPBS, I've helped expose political scandals and dug into intractable issues like sex trafficking. I've raised tough questions about how government treats foster kids. I've spotlighted the problem of pollution in poor neighborhoods. And I've chronicled corporate mistakes and how the public sometimes ends up paying for them.

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