California: Bilbray Concedes to Peters

Democrat Scott Peters will be the next congressman from California's 52nd District after he defeated an incumbent. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Brian P. Bilbray, R-Calif., has conceded his re-election bid in the 52nd District to Democrat Scott Peters.

Bilbray called Peters Friday to deliver the news, a spokesman said, and released a statement to the press.

Peters, a San Diego port commissioner, led Bilbray by 2,660 votes when counting concluded on Thursday, according to the California secretary of state’s office. His lead grew in the week and a half since Election Day, when the two were separated by fewer than 1,000 votes.

There are now three outstanding House races in Florida’s 18th District, North Carolina’s 7th District and Arizona’s 2nd District. A fourth race in Louisiana’s 3rd district between two GOP members will be decided by a December runoff.

Democrats lead in all of the races where the winner is still uncalled. If they prevail in all of them, the party’s net gain in the House this cycle will be eight seats.

Running for re-election in a redrawn district in San Diego, Bilbray was one of seven California incumbents defeated this cycle. Four were Democrats, though each lost to a fellow Democrat. GOP Reps. Dan Lungren, Mary Bono Mack and Bilbray were all defeated by Democrats.

Like Lungren, Bilbray served two stints in Congress. He was first elected to the House in 1994. After being defeated in 2000 by Democratic Rep. Susan Davis, Bilbray worked as a lobbyist, then re-entered the House in a 2006 special election to fill the seat of Republican Duke Cunningham.

Bilbray, one of a small group of members of Congress that surf, is the 25th incumbent to lose nationwide.

See all of the other members defeated or not returning to the 113th Congress on our Casualty List.