Ending one of the most expensive congressional elections in the country, Rep. Brian Bilbray on Friday conceded his defeat to Democratic challenger Scott Peters in the 52nd Congressional District.
As of Thursday, the San Diego County Registrar of Voters Office said Peters led Bilbray, a six-term member of the House, by nearly 4,000 votes: 136,345 to 132,468—or 50.72 percent to 49.28 percent.
The district covers Coronado and La Jolla along the coast, then stretches east to take in Rancho Bernardo and Poway.
“With the majority of votes counted, I would like to congratulate Scott Peters in his bid to serve the citizens of the 52nd Congressional District and the people of San Diego,” Republican Bilbray said in a statement, adding:
I would like to take this moment to thank all the supporters of my campaign. This was an expensive and hard-fought campaign that drew national interest. I appreciated the spirited dialogue that often accompanies campaigns like this. While Scott and I differed sharply on how to handle the issues facing our nation, now is the time to put those differences aside and find common ground to address our country’s many challenges.
Looking back, I take great pride in what my team has been able to accomplish in my time in Congress.
I was fortunate to have environmental bills passed and signed into law: The Border Smog Protection Act that strengthened the Clean Air Act and the Beaches Environment Assessment and Coastal Health Act that strengthened the Clean Water Act, as well as a bill to clean up Lake Hodges. I also take great pride in protecting veteran benefits with the passage of a two-year budget cycle and honor their service by protecting the Mount Soledad National Veterans Memorial.
I endeavored to open my colleagues’ eyes to the promise of renewable fuels that will one day curb our dependence on foreign oil. And finally, something very close to me, reforming the bureaucracy to get cures to patients faster and increasing medical research funding to one day turn cancer into a manageable disease.
As for me, I will continue fighting for the issues I believe in and that benefit San Diego, only in a different capacity. I look forward to finally having the opportunity to spend time with my family and seven grandkids. I wish Scott and his family the very best in his endeavors.
The registrar has been counting provisional ballots in the Bilbray-Peters race, which was too close to call until Friday. Some 120,000 votes were still uncounted as of Thursday, the office reported.