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KPBS Midday Edition

52nd Congressional Race: Bilbray, Peters, Saldaña On The Issues

Brian Bilbray, Scott Peters and Lori Saldana, the three participants in KPBS' 52nd Congressional District debate.
Candidates for the 52nd Congressional District
Guests: Brian Bilbray, Republican Congressman Scott Peters, Democratic challenger Lori Saldana, Democratic challenger

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The 52nd Congressional District has morphed a couple of times. Twenty years ago it was the 50th District, represented by Randy Cunningham. The 2010 census changed the district's number and geography so that it now runs up the coast from Coronado and then northeast to Poway. It now has more Democrats than Republicans.

Two Democrats, Scott Peters and Lori Saldaña, are trying to unseat Republican incumbent Brian Bilbray. For the first time, the top-two vote-getters, regardless of party, will be on the November ballot. The three candidates met earlier for a debate at the KPBS studios, which covered several issues.

Peters, a San Diego City Council member from 2000 to 2008, ran unsuccessfully for City Attorney after he was termed out. He calls himself "a common-sense Democrat," and has been endorsed by the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council and Assembly members Ben Hueso, Toni Atkins and Marty Block, among others. His priorities are job creation, veterans and their families and reducing reliance on foreign oil.

Lori Saldaña served six years in the State Assembly and elected to run for Congress rather than the State Senate. A self-described progressive, Saldana is a champion of environmental causes, including wetlands preservation and the creation of solar power. She has also advocated changes in California's initiative process, including increasing the fee petitioners would pay upon filing.

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Brian Bilbray serves on the House Armed Services, Veterans Affairs and Government Reform Committees. He considers himself a moderate on some social issues, but a conservative on immigration and on fiscal matters. He generally votes with the House leadership. He has signed Grover Norquist's Taxpayer Protection Pledge. He is a strong believer in pro-life causes and in traditional marriage.

Brian Bilbray, 52nd Congressional District Candidate
Scott Peters, 52nd Congressional District Candidate
Lori Saldaña, 52nd Congressional District Candidate