California's 52nd Congressional District elections, 2014

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California's 52nd Congressional District

General Election Date
November 4, 2014

Primary Date
June 3, 2014

Incumbent prior to election:
Scott Peters Democratic Party
Scott Peters.jpg

Race Ratings
Cook Political Report: Toss Up[1]

Sabato's Crystal Ball: Toss Up[2]

California U.S. House Elections
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2014 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of California.png
The 52nd Congressional District of California will hold an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 4, 2014.

Our analysis points to California's 52nd Congressional District being a battleground with a slight Democratic lean.[3][4] Incumbent Scott Peters (D) won election by 2.4 percent in 2012 and is a freshman member of the U.S. House.

Incumbent Scott Peters (D) and Carl DeMaio (R) advanced past the blanket primary on June 3, 2014. The three Republican candidates in the primary received nearly 58 percent of the vote. This points to the fact that the general election race between Peters and DeMaio is likely to be very competitive.

Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
March 7, 2014
June 3, 2014
November 4, 2014

Primary: California is one of three states to use a blanket primary, or top-two system, which allows all candidates to run and all voters to vote but only moves the top two vote-getters, regardless of party affiliation, to the general election.[5][3][6]

Voter registration: To vote in the primary, voters had to register by May 19, 2014. For the general election, the voter registration deadline was October 20, 2014 (the 15th calendar day before that election).[7]

See also: California elections, 2014

Incumbent: Heading into the election the incumbent is Scott Peters (D), who was first elected in 2012.

California's 52nd Congressional District is located in the southern portion of the state and includes part of San Diego County.[8]


General election candidates

Democratic Party Scott Peters
Republican Party Carl DeMaio

June 3, 2014, primary results

Democratic Party Scott Peters - Incumbent Approveda
Republican Party Carl DeMaio Approveda
Republican Party Kirk Jorgensen
Republican Party Fred Simon

Primary results

U.S. House, California District 52 Primary, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngScott Peters Incumbent 42.3% 53,926
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngCarl DeMaio 35.3% 44,954
     Republican Kirk Jorgensen 18.5% 23,588
     Republican Fred Simon 4% 5,040
Total Votes 127,508
Source: California Secretary of State

Race background

Incumbent Scott Peters (D) is a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Frontline Program. The program is designed to help protect vulnerable Democratic incumbents heading into the 2014 election.[9]

Republican candidates split nearly 58 percent of the vote in the blanket primary on June 3, 2014. Because of this, it is likely that incumbent Peters will face a very competitive race with Carl DeMaio in November.

Sexual harassment charges

DeMaio is facing sexual harassment charges from former campaign staffer Todd Bosnich. Bosnich, who is also an openly gay Republican, accused DeMaio of sexual harassment that occurred over a number of months. Bosnich described the first instance of harassment, "We were making small talk on the way back. And when he pulled up to my car, he reached over into my lap and grabbed my crotch. And I flipped out. And I pushed his hand away. I just was shocked because I'd never had anyone do something like that to me, especially in a position of authority and trust. And, at the time, I just figured, well, maybe he was drunk and blew it off. But he progressively and progressively, the inappropriate touching incidents continued from there." Bosnich said the harassment culminated in the following incident. "I came over to his office, door was open. And he was masturbating. I saw his hand, his penis in his hand and he had a smile on his face. And as soon as I came over he was looking at me." Bosnich said he confronted DeMaio several weeks after the incident and told him to stop with the harassment and as a result was terminated from the campaign. "It was the very next day, in the morning, that the campaign manager called me into his office and said that Carl lost his trust in me and that he'd terminated me. He offered me a position in the county Republican Party and also told me to sign a non-disclosure agreement in exchange for $50,000."[10]

In response to the allegations, Demaio said that Bosnich was terminated for plagiarism. "This is an individual that was let go by our campaign manager for plagiarism. A well-documented plagiarism incident of taking a report from the National Journal and passing it off as his own work. He was terminated. He admitted that he plagiarized. He apologized for plagiarizing and when we told him he was no longer welcome in the staff and in the campaign office, even as a volunteer, he left. Days later, he broke in." He went on, "It's unfortunate. He's clearly troubled. He got caught for the damage that he did to the campaign and now he's manufacturing in essence a cover story to explain away his actions. It's unfortunate. It's untrue. And my hope is that the police department will hold him accountable for his actions against our campaign."[10]

Peters' comments about DeMaio

Incumbent Scott Peters (D) came under fire for some remarks he made about his opponent, Carl DeMaio (R). Peters made the following comments at a Clairemont Democrat Club Meeting on August 12, 2014. "And now he’s saying, now he’s saying, ‘Well, I’m a gay man, I must be moderate. I’m pro-choice, I’m pro-environment.’ And I gotta tell ya, around the country, where people don’t know him, they completely buy it. Carl DeMaio has gotten more—it’s so unusual for them to see a gay man running as a Republican. He’s gotten stories in The Wall Street Journal, he’s gotten stories in the National Journal, all puff pieces about how this great, new, moderate, gay Republican is coming out and running for office. And they’re very psyched about it. And the Republicans in D.C., they love this," Peters continued.[11]


Scott Peters

  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce - In a rare move, Peters received the endorsement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which rarely backs Democratic candidates. Chamber president, Thomas Donohue, wrote in a letter to Peters, "We believe that your re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives will help produce sustained economic growth, help create jobs, and get our country back on track. We will encourage the business community to vigorously support your candidacy.”[12]


Crossroads GPS released the below ad attacking incumbent Scott Peters on August 19, 2014. Both Peters and opponent Carl DeMaio (R) condemned the ad. DeMaio said, "Not only did I not know about this ad, I wish these national groups on both sides would go away. Scott Peters should be called out for his terrible votes undermining the future of Social Security and Medicare but I can do that just fine."[13]

Crossroads GPS ad attacking Scott Peters


Scott Peters

Peters' campaign website lists the following issues:[14]

  • Jobs and the Economy: "America faces challenging new realities in a changing world. The economy is faster, smarter, more competitive and more global. And our federal budget is upside down because our Congressional representatives are more focused on holding onto problems for political gain than solving them."
  • Healthcare: "Healthcare in America needs to be accessible and affordable for everybody. When the Supreme Court affirmed the President's health care insurance reform initiative (the Affordable Care Act) in June 2012, it reminded us that the powerful health services industry does not control the administration of health care."
  • Medicare and Social Security: "Social Security and Medicare are compacts between the generations that we must not break. Men and women who have spent a lifetime of hard work, providing for their families and saving for their retirement, deserve the security of knowing their retirement and benefits, which they have worked hard to earn, will be there for them."
  • Veterans: "Veterans are such a vital part of our community, and San Diego has the largest concentration of veterans in the nation, approximately 28,000. When these Americans volunteered to serve our country, we made a commitment to provide them with certain programs and benefits in exchange for their service."
  • Energy Policy: "As a nation, we must work toward a long-term energy policy that: 1) creates new American jobs; 2) emphasizes greater energy independence; 3) invests in the development of alternative fuels; 4) promotes clean energy technology like wind and solar; 5) ensures greater national security; and 6) provides automakers with incentives for producing fuel-efficient vehicles."


—Scott Peters' campaign website,

Carl DeMaio

DeMaio's campaign website lists the following issues:[16]

  • Balancing the Budget: "Washington DC has a spending problem. How long have we heard this line from our politicians? Each election we hear politicians railing against excessive spending, but once in Washington, DC we see little action. Something has to change. We’re now more than $17 trillion in debt – and it is only getting worse."
  • Jobs and the Economy: "Carl DeMaio’s philosophy is simple: if you are willing to work hard, the American Dream should be yours. Unfortunately, the American Dream is out-of-reach for too many. People are working harder, but feel like they are falling further behind. Something has to change – and that something is Washington."
  • Education: "A quality education is the bedrock of life-long success. Carl DeMaio will be a champion of reforms to strengthen our K-12 education system and expand access to college so our children are prepared to compete in a 21st century economy."
  • Affordable Health Care: "Health care reform should be about making coverage more accessible and affordable, not more expensive and complicated. Health care works best when medical decisions are made by patients and their doctors – not government bureaucrats in Washington."
  • Social Security & Medicare: "We have an obligation to our seniors – Democrats and Republicans should come together to fulfill our commitment to our seniors by enacting common-sense reforms to save Social Security and Medicare."


—Carl DeMaio's campaign website,

Key votes

Below are important votes the current incumbent cast during the 113th Congress.

Government shutdown

See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Nay3.png On September 30, 2013, the House passed a final stopgap spending bill before the shutdown went into effect. The bill included a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate and would have also stripped the bill of federal subsidies for congressional members and staff. It passed through the House with a vote of 228-201.[17] At 1 a.m. on October 1, 2013, one hour after the shutdown officially began, the House voted to move forward with going to a conference. In short order, Sen. Harry Reid rejected the call to conference.[18] Scott Peters voted against the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.[19]

Yea3.png The shutdown ended on October 16, 2013, when the House took a vote on HR 2775 after it was approved by the Senate. The bill to reopen the government lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funded the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[20] The House passed the legislation shortly after the Senate, by a vote of 285-144, with all 144 votes against the legislation coming from Republican members. Scott Peters voted for HR 2775.[21]


Scott Peters vs. Carl DeMaio
Poll Scott Peters Carl DeMaioUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
SurveyUSA (September 11-15, 2014)
GBA Strategies (July 20-22, 2014)
SurveyUSA (June 10-12, 2013)
AVERAGES 44.67% 45.67% 9.33% +/-4.53 486.33
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

Campaign contributions

Scott Peters

Scott Peters (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[22]April 15, 2013$28,701.00$258,290.29$(67,131.54)$219,859.75
July Quarterly[23]July 15, 2013$219,859.75$362,772.90$(56,742.08)$525,890.57
October Quarterly[24]October 14, 2013$525,890.57$346,377.97$(66,501.67)$805,766.87
Year-End[25]January 31, 2014$805,766$413,032$(71,662)$1,147,137
April Quarterly[26]April 15, 2014$1,147,137$461,309$(118,795)$1,489,652
Pre-Primary[27]May 22, 2014$1,489,652$152,806$(118,529)$1,523,928
July Quarterly[28]July 15, 2014$1,523,928$554,398$(145,841)$1,932,486
October Quarterly[29]October 15, 2014$1,932,486$914,092$(2,038,485)$808,093
Running totals

Carl DeMaio

Carl DeMaio (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
July Quarterly[30]July 15, 2013$0.00$487,616.55$(17,972.03)$469,644.52
October Quarterly[31]October 15, 2013$469,644.52$328,383.78$(78,029.21)$719,999.09
Year-End[32]January 31, 2014$719,999$370,261$(104,269)$985,991
April Quarterly[33]April 15, 2014$985,991$422,307$(153,847)$1,254,451
Pre-Primary[34]May 22, 2014$1,254,451$172,323$(255,299)$1,171,475
July Quarterly[35]July 15, 2014$1,171,475$454,797$(194,697)$1,431,576
Running totals

Kirk Jorgensen

Kirk Jorgensen (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
July Quarterly[36]July 12, 2013$0$129,359$(2,632)$126,726
October Quarterly[37]October 15, 2013$126,726$62,845$(60,370)$129,127
Year-End[38]January 31, 2014$129,127$24,691$(97,802)$62,768
April Quarterly[39]April 16, 2014$62,768$60,800$(63,012)$60,556
Pre-Primary[40]May 23, 2014$60,556$55,675$(52,079)$67,696
Running totals

**As of the 2014 Pre-Primary Report, Jorgensen's committee owed $47,025 in outstanding loans to Kirk Jorgensen.

Fred Simon

Fred Simon (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
October Quarterly[41]October 15, 2013$0$400,088$(16,627)$383,460
Year-End[42]January 28, 2014$383,460$14,598$(54,827)$343,231
April Quarterly[43]April 15, 2014$343,231$967,321$(94,175)$1,216,377
Pre-Primary[44]May 22, 2014$1,216,377$118,728$(288,970)$1,046,136
Running totals

**As of the 2014 Pre-Primary Report, Simon's committee owed $1,453,000 in outstanding loans to Fred Simon.

District history

Candidate ballot accecss
Ballot Access Requirements Final.jpg

Find detailed information on ballot access requirements in all 50 states and Washington D.C.


On November 6, 2012, Scott Peters (D) won election to the United States House. He defeated Brian Bilbray in the general election.

U.S. House, California District 52 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngScott Peters 51.2% 151,451
     Republican Brian Bilbray Incumbent 48.8% 144,459
Total Votes 295,910
Source: California Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"


On November 2, 2010, Duncan Hunter won re-election to the United States House. He defeated Ray Lutz (D) and Michael Benoit (L) in the general election.[45]

U.S. House, California District 52 General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDuncan Hunter incumbent 63.1% 139,460
     Democratic Ray Lutz 32.1% 70,870
     Libertarian Michael Benoit 4.9% 10,732
Total Votes 221,062

See also

External links


  1. Cook Political Report, "2014 HOUSE RACE RATINGS FOR June 26, 2014," accessed July 28, 2014
  2. Sabato's Crystal Ball, "2014 House Races," accessed July 28, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 Fair Vote, "Congressional and Presidential Primaries: Open, Closed, Semi-Closed, and 'Top Two,'" accessed January 6, 2014
  4. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named cook
  5. National Conference of State Legislatures Website, "State Primary Election Types," accessed January 6, 2014
  6. Ballotpedia research conducted December 26, 2013 through January 3, 2014 researching and analyzing various state websites and codes.
  7. California Secretary of State Website, "Voter Registration," accessed January 3, 2014
  8. California Redistricting Map, "Map," accessed September 25, 2012
  9. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, "DCCC Chairman Steve Israel Announces 2013-2014 Frontline Members," accessed March 5, 2013
  10. 10.0 10.1 CNN, "Gay Republican congressional candidate accused of sexual harassment," October 10, 2014
  11. Buzzfeed, "Democratic Congressman: People Think My GOP Opponent Is Moderate Because He’s Gay," August 20, 2014
  12. UT San Diego, "Peters gains U.S. Chamber nod," September 3, 2014
  13. ABC 10 News, "Scott Peters, Carl DeMaio denounce attack ad: Super PAC targets 52nd congressional race," August 19, 2014
  14. Campaign website, "Issues," accessed April 28, 2014
  15. 15.0 15.1 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  16. Campaign website, "Issues," accessed April 28, 2014
  17. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  18. Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
  19. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  20. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  21. U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 550," accessed October 31, 2013
  22. Federal Election Commission, "Scott Peters April Quarterly," accessed July 23, 2013
  23. Federal Election Commission, "Scott Peters July Quarterly," accessed July 23, 2013
  24. Federal Election Commission, "Scott Peters October Quarterly," accessed October 21, 2013
  25. Federal Election Commission, "Scott Peters Year-End," accessed February 4, 2014
  26. Federal Election Commission, "Scott Peters April Quarterly," accessed April 21, 2014
  27. Federal Election Commission, "Scott Peters Pre-Primary," accessed June 3, 2014
  28. Federal Election Commission, "Scott Peters July Quarterly," accessed July 23, 2014
  29. Federal Election Commission, "Scott Peters October Quarterly," accessed October 20, 2014
  30. Federal Election Commission, "Carl DeMaio July Quarterly," accessed July 28, 2013
  31. Federal Election Commission, "Carl DeMaio October Quarterly," accessed October 29, 2013
  32. Federal Election Commission, "Carl DeMaio Year-End," accessed February 10, 2014
  33. Federal Election Commission, "Carl DeMaio April Quarterly," accessed May 5, 2014
  34. Federal Election Commission, "Carl DeMaio Pre-Primary," accessed June 3, 2014
  35. Federal Election Commission, "Carl DeMaio July Quarterly," accessed July 28, 2014
  36. Federal Election Commission, "Kirk Jorgensen July Quarterly," accessed July 28, 2013
  37. Federal Election Commission, "Kirk Jorgensen October Quarterly," accessed October 29, 2013
  38. Federal Election Commission, "Kirk Jorgensen Year-End," accessed February 10, 2014
  39. Federal Election Commission, "Kirk Jorgensen April Quarterly," accessed May 5, 2014
  40. Federal Election Commission, "Kirk Jorgensen Pre-Primary," accessed June 3, 2014
  41. Federal Election Commission, "Fred Simon October Quarterly," accessed May 6, 2014
  42. Federal Election Commission, "Fred Simon Year-End," accessed May 6, 2014
  43. Federal Election Commission, "Fred Simon April Quarterly," accessed May 6, 2014
  44. Federal Election Commission, "Fred Simon Pre-Primary," accessed June 3, 2014
  45. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013