An incumbent Democratic representative, Scott Peters, says that his Republican opponent, Carl DeMaio, cites his sexual orientation as evidence of his political moderation.
“He’s saying, now he’s saying, ‘Well, I’m a gay man, I must be moderate. I’m pro-choice, I’m pro-environment,’” Peters, a California congressman, said at an event hosted by the Clairemont Democratic Club. “And I gotta tell ya, around the country, where people don’t know him, they completely buy it,” he said.
Peters goes on to explain that he doesn’t believe voters in the district, in the San Diego area, will buy the ruse, since the Democratic party has been electing gay candidates in the area since the 1990s.
It’s also national Republicans who are using the fact that DeMaio, a former San Diego city councilman and mayoral candidate, is openly gay, Peters said: “They think, ‘Wow, this guy is gonna change our party,’ because all they need — they don’t have any out, gay members of Congress, the Republicans don’t. They also don’t have any African Americans.” (There isn’t a black member of the House GOP caucus since Allen West was defeated in 2012, but South Carolina’s junior senator, Tim Scott, is a black Republican.)
Peters won the seat from Republican Brian Bilbray in 2012, beating him by just three points. It’s rated a D+2 district by the Cook Political Report and considered a toss-up this fall.