Scott Peters announces Bilbray challenge

Second high-profile Democrat enters race against Bilbray

There’s been speculation for a while, but today Port Commissioner and former San Diego City Council President Scott Peters officially entered the race for the (new) 52nd Congressional District, challenging Brian Bilbray. He becomes the second high-profile Democrat in the race, joining former Assemblywoman Lori Saldana in the race.

From the Peters release:

“Some of our Representatives have worked within the Washington D.C. Beltway for so long, they’ve forgotten they work for the people back home,” said Peters. “I will bring an independent, problem-solving approach to Washington to help end the gridlock that’s hamstrung our current Congress.”

“The American people, especially San Diegans, don’t care as much about party politics as they care about their jobs, quality of life and their children’s futures. They are embarrassed and worried that our national representatives can’t put personal politics aside and put the people they represent first,” he added.

“The unrelenting partisanship in Congress has put our economy at even greater risk at a time when families already face unemployment and uncertainty at levels most have never experienced” he said. “We deserve better.”

The new 52nd was an immediate pickup target for Democrats as soon as redistricting maps went public, becoming much more of a swing district than in the past. The profile (via Meridian Pacific) is a tricky one: Obama won the district by 12 points, five points above the nation overall and in the same election, No on Prop 8 received a 52-46 advantage. However, both Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman carried the district handily in 2010, and Kamala Harris clocked in at a 13 point deficit. In other words — a lot will depend on what the Obama/Presidential year boost shapes up to be in 2012.

It also draws two well-known Democrats in a city without all that many well known Democrats, making it likely that the dynamics of California’s new top-two, ‘jungle’ primary will come into play. The announcement comes as House Speaker John Boehner came to town to headline a fundraiser for Brian Bilbray, underlining that Bilbray should have whatever funding he needs in the race and setting up fundraising capacity as a likely viability signal for the Democratic challengers.

Visit Scott Peters for Congress here.

Cross posted from Two Cathedrals

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