Carl DeMaio and Scott Peters
Votes were hardly tallied before shots began flying in what's expected to be a hotly contested 52nd Congressional District race between Democratic incumbent Scott Peters and former city councilmember and onetime mayoral hopeful Carl DeMaio, a Republican.
"A 'New Generation Republican.' That’s who Congressman Scott Peters will have to defend his fiscally-reckless and partisan record against in November," opens a Wednesday morning release from the Congressional Leadership Fund, a so-called "super PAC" dedicated to pumping millions into competitive congressional races across the country.
Peters has been targeted by Republicans since ousting Brian Bilbray following statewide redistricting in 2012. DeMaio, for his part, has been campaigning for the seat since his mayoral campaign loss to Bob Filner.
The Congressional Leadership release notes that, while Peters bested DeMaio by a margin of 42.2 to 35.9 percent, nearly 58 percent of voters within the district cast Republican ballots, with other votes going to primary challengers Kirk Jorgensen and Fred Simon.
The Peters camp sought to link DeMaio with the far-right Tea Party movement in a release of their own.
"The contrast between Scott Peters and Tea Party candidate Carl DeMaio could not be more stark; we are eager to compare Scott’s record of bipartisan leadership to Carl’s record of divisiveness and extremism," Peters campaign MaryAnne Pintar fired back.
In his release, Peters also challenged DeMaio to a series of five issue-specific debates, including venue suggestions. In a shot seemingly intended to highlight his status as the incumbent, Peters’s campaign stipulates that debates should occur when Congress is not in session, as "the congressman has a job to do."