California: Republicans Eyeing DeMaio to Challenge Freshman Peters

Peters is a top 2014 target for Republicans. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Peters is a top 2014 target for Republicans. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Posted March 6, 2013 at 11:33am

Republican strategists believe former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio is considering a challenge to freshman Democratic Rep. Scott Peters, a top GOP target in 2014.

DeMaio boasts strong name ID in the 52nd District after losing to former Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif., by a slim margin, in the San Diego mayoral election last year. But DeMaio performed well in the area where the district and city overlapped, according to one GOP strategist.

Reached for comment, DeMaio spokeswoman Jennifer Jacobs downplayed the rumors, saying “there is significant discussion and speculation about Carl’s future elective opportunities. However, at this time, Carl is focusing on opportunities to promote reform throughout California and for that matter, the country.”

Peters won a hotly contested race that was among the most expensive in the country. He defeated Republican Rep. Brian Bilbray by 2 points in a district that was drawn more favorably for Democrats following redistricting. President Barack Obama carried the district by about 6 points.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Tuesday named Peters and four other California Democrats to its Frontline program, which is designed to put its most vulnerable members in position to win re-election.