Democrat Scott Peters won California’s 52nd Congressional District in the race against incumbent opponent, Republican Brian Bilbray. He won with 51.2% of the vote to Bilbray’s 48.8%. This election was decided early in the morning, around 2:31am.
The newly created 52nd district has a 9.5 percent Republican advantage, with 132,981 Republicans, 121,418 Democrats, and 118,753 unaffiliated/other. Though a Democrat, Peters won over Republican and independent voters by highlighting his reform efforts as San Diego’s first City Council President.
On the campaign trail, Peters reached out to independent minded voters. He had an impressive list of endorsements, from former president Bill Clinton, to recently declared independent Nathan Fletcher.
Peters’ campaign outspent Bilbray $1,367,506.99 to $263,284.33. Peters’ success is also due, in part, to the efforts of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s Red to Blue campaign, which identifies and targets districts that can feasibly change from Republican to Democratic control.
During his tenure in San Diego City Council, Paters led the creation of the strong-mayor form of government. He added an independent budget review committee, created an independent audit function, and hired San Diego’s first independent budget analyst.