Former City Councilman Carl DeMaio announced his bid Thursday for the 52nd Congressional seat in 2014 against Congressman Scott Peters.
DeMaio sent an email to his supporters announcing his candidacy and promising to push a national reform agenda.
"I see myself as a 'new generation Republican' who wants to challenge the party to focus on pocket-book, economic and quality of life issues in a more positive and inclusive way, rather than issues that are frankly none of the government's business in the first place," DeMaio said in the campaign's news release.
In November, Democratic U.S. Rep. Peters won a close, expensive race against incumbent Republican Brian Bilbray in a newly-drawn district that takes in much of San Diego and parts of Poway and Coronado.
Tony Krvaric, Chairman of the Republican Party of San Diego County, had this to say about the news:
"DeMaio is a formidable candidate with broad appeal. We need serious reform in Washington D.C. and Scott Peters is no reformer," Krvaric said.
DeMaio, who ran unsuccessfully for mayor last year, fared favorably in a poll paid for by the National Republican Congressional Committee on his possible bid to oust freshman Peters. The survey informed likely voters that DeMaio is openly gay and he would prefer that the GOP focus on fixing the federal government’s finances rather than on social issues, according to Roll Call.
The Bilbray-Peters race drew national attention and spending last year after the district was redrawn to be more favorable to Democrats during a controversial redistricting process.
Just days after Peters' election, the National Republican Congressional Committee began sending out daily emails questioning his stances on issues, and then later his votes. He is considered a top target of the GOP for the 2014 race.
Peters, a former port commissioner and a San Diego city councilman, has drawn constant political criticism since his controversial 2002 vote to underfund the city's pension fund. He also has widespread support from both moderate and more liberal Democrats, and was often praised for his strong understanding of fiscal matters during his time at the Port of San Diego.
DeMaio's announcement leaves plenty of time for campaigning with more than a year before the primary for the 2014 elections. He could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
In regards to DeMaio's bid for the 52nd Congressional seat, Congressman Peters' spokesperson MaryAnne Pintar had this to say on Wednesday night:
"With the primary election more than a year away, Congressman Peters is focused on bi-partisan problem solving -- not politics. That's why National Journal named him one of the most independent thinkers in Congress. He is fighting for our national defense, veterans, students and our innovation economy and has done so with the support of many of the same Republican leaders who formerly backed Mr. DeMaio."