Election Update: Peters Widens Gap with Bilbray

As the vote count at the San Diego County Registrar of Voters office extends into its second week, Scott Peters continued to see his lead in the 52nd Congressional District race grow.  The previous update from the Registrar showed Peters with a 1,899 vote lead over Republican incumbent Brian Bilbray.

As of last night’s update, with approximately 210,000 mail-in and provisional ballots from around the county yet to be counted, Peters’ lead grew to 2,660, further dimming Bilbray’s reelection hopes.

On election night, the race became one of the most exciting in California for political junkies waiting up, checking for updated tallies as if checking the score for their favorite football team.  As the clock ticked toward two a.m. Wednesday morning, Nov. 7, a mere 13 votes separated the two candidates, with Bilbray in the lead.

Since then, however, it has been a slow and steady climb for the Democratic challenger, who assumed the lead and has never relinquished it, extending it with each update.  Although the Bilbray camp has not yet conceded the race, Peters was confident enough in the results that according to reports he has traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend an orientation for incoming freshman legislators.

According to a spokesperson at the Registrar’s office, workers have been able to get through approximately 60,000 to 90,000 ballots per day on most days.  They expect to be able to complete the count of mail in and provisional ballots within the next few days, but that the election results for San Diego County might not be certified until Dec. 4, the deadline by which the final results must be turned in to the California Secretary of State.  It is entirely possible that a winner in the 52nd District will not be declared until then.

UPDATE:  A spokesperson from the Peters campaign has confirmed that she and Peters have both traveled to Washington for the orientation.

UDATE II:  Bilbray has conceded the race.  See the story here.


Andy Cohen

Andy spent 15 years working in the highest levels of the San Diego professional sports world, including both the Padres and the Chargers. He began his foray into writing while a volunteer for Francine Busby's 2010 Congressional campaign, eventually becoming a contributor to the now defunct SDNN. He has reported on local and national politics for both the OB Rag and the San Diego Free Press. When not reporting news and events, he offers political and policy commentary from a liberal perspective, occasionally turning back to his sports roots. While he does not hide his more liberal political bent, Andy always strives for fairness in the telling of a story.