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Congressman Brian Bilbray is asking that candidates for the 52nd congressional district agree to participate in four debates, all to be held before the June 5 primary.

Bilbray, a conservative congressman, is seeking to get reelected to Congress; this time, however, in the newly drawn 52nd District. The race for the district, which extends from Del Mar to Coronado and also includes parts of Poway, is considered to be one of the hardest fought among local races. Bilbray's competitors include port commissioner and former San Diego City Council president Scott Peters and former state assemblywoman Lori Saldaña.

Bilbray says the four debates will be held on either radio or television and one public debate.

“People are angry at the failure of Washington politicians to make the tough decisions necessary to get America working again, and I share that frustration" stated Bilbray. "These are serious times that require serious people. The voters of the 52nd District deserve the chance to hear from each of us about how we are going to tackle these problems.

“These various formats allow each candidate a great opportunity to get their message out and introduce themselves to the voters,” said Bilbray.

It didn't take long for Lori Saldaña to respond to Bilbray's request: "I'm happy to join in the call for debates in this open seat for Congress," wrote Saldaña on her Facebook page. "I propose six public debates to take place in every corner of the new 52nd Congressional district between January and the June 5 Primary, and insist that these discussions take place in the community, not in broadcast studios."

Saldaña said the community debates will be covered by the local media and would allow residents to voice their concerns directly to the candidates.

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