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Donna Frye Backs Scott Peters; Carl DeMaio Reveals Jobs Plan

Former City Councilwoman Donna Frye says she supports Congressman Scott Peters in his bid for re-election against former City Councilman Carl DeMaio in the 52nd Congressional District, Oct. 29, 2014.
Claire Trageser
Former City Councilwoman Donna Frye says she supports Congressman Scott Peters in his bid for re-election against former City Councilman Carl DeMaio in the 52nd Congressional District, Oct. 29, 2014.

With just six days until voters decide who will represent San Diego's 52nd Congressional District — Democratic incumbent Scott Peters or Republican former City Councilman Carl DeMaio — each campaign rolled out dueling news conferences Wednesday.

The first, at the Peters campaign headquarters, featured former City Councilwoman Donna Frye.

Frye said she didn't want to be involved in the race but decided she had to say something when she heard that DeMaio was repeatedly touting work he'd done with her.


The two served on the City Council together and worked on open government reforms, which DeMaio has mentioned during debates and forums.

Frye said Wednesday that she does not support DeMaio and asked him to stop using her name. She said it was difficult to work with DeMaio, and their partnership quickly dissolved.

"For a while, it seemed like we might actually get something done," she said. "I liked him and I believed he cared about the public. But that belief was short lived. And working with him became an effort in futility and frustration.

"He often belittled people who did not agree with him, and regularly left the council meetings when the public was speaking, returning only when it was his turn to speak. He relished in lecturing others on their behavior, and after one of his many diatribes at City Council, I asked him point blank if he believed anything he'd just said."

Frye said while she does not always agree with Peters on policy issues, she knows he will not demean his congressional office with his behavior. The two also served on the City Council together.


Related: Sex Harassment Claims, Leaked Emails Dominate Last Weeks Of DeMaio-Peters Race

When Frye finished her statement, reporters asked her about recent sexual harassment claims made against DeMaio by a former campaign staffer. DeMaio has denied the allegations, and the District Attorney's Office last week said there was not enough evidence to pursue charges in the matter.

View complete election coverage from KPBS News.

Frye said beyond the district attorney deciding not to file charges, she does not know what happened for sure. Then she paused and said, "What I believe is that there are other victims."

A reporter then asked, "Why do you believe that, Donna?"

Frye said that her experiences talking to women who were sexually harassed by former Mayor Bob Filner makes her think that victims are reluctant to come forward.

"What I believe is that based on the many, many women who I've spoken with, and based on others I've spoken with recently, that where there's smoke there's fire," she said.

Frye would not say whom she had spoken with recently.

At a separate news conference, DeMaio's campaign revealed a jobs plan that DeMaio said will jumpstart the economy.

He called for a fairer and simpler tax code that eliminates tax loopholes for some big corporations, cutting red tape and regulations on small businesses, and investing in infrastructure such as highways, ports, border crossings and waterways, according to a news release.

DeMaio also proposed a two-year tax relief provision "to bring overseas profits from home to the U.S. to be reinvested at lower corporate tax rates," the statement said.

Tax relief funds could only be used for expanding manufacturing, training American workers, research and development and financing public infrastructure projects, the statement said.

"The economy remains stagnant and too many San Diegans are out-of-work or falling behind," DeMaio said. "It is time for bold action to revitalize our economy and create better jobs and brighter opportunities for the American Dream."