Democrat Wins California House Contest
Rep. Scott Peters, D-Calif., officially defeated Republican Carl DeMaio Friday, after a new bunch of ballots gave the freshman Democrat an insurmountable lead in California’s 52nd District.
Peters leads DeMaio by a nearly 4,500-vote margin. Operatives say not enough uncounted ballots remain for a DeMaio victory, and The Associated Press called the race for Peters.
The hotly contested race was a Tossup the entire contest.
While the San Diego-based district favors Democrats in presidential cycles, voters have shown less partisanship down the ballot. They’ve sent Republicans to Congress in the past.
National Republicans touted DeMaio, who is openly gay, as one of their best recruits of the cycle.
But a late-breaking scandal ultimately dealt his campaign a fatal blow. Two former campaign staffers accused DeMaio of sexual harassment.
While DeMaio had a lead on Election Day, many of those ballots were cast early, before the scandal caught steam. Peters won voters on Election Day, as well as the mail-in ballots sent in days before the election.
In northern California, Democratic Rep. Michael M. Honda also defeated his Democratic opponent, attorney Ro Khanna late Friday. The AP called the race for Honda, who led Khanna by a 4,046-vote margin.
A handful of races now remain too close to call.
For a full list of winners and losers, check CQ Roll Call’s election map.