East County News Service
Photo: Scott Peters and family
November 6, 2014 (San Diego)-- Democratic Congressman Scott Peters has taken the lead over Republican challenger Carl DeMaio in the 5nd Congressional District– by a slim margin of just 861 votes, Registrar of Voters Michael Vu announced late today. That’s a switch from election night, when DeMaio was on top by 752 votes.
There are still about 39,000 ballots to be counted, including provisional ballots and absentee ballots turned into polling places Tuesday.
Late ballots may favor Peters, since two days before the election, a second campaign staffer stepped forward to accuse DeMaio of sexual harassment. Justin Harper, a military veteran, told KPBS that he quit the campaign on July after DeMaio exposed himself in a restroom. DeMaio has denied the incident and a prior allegation of groping made by another aide. The District Attorney has declined to press charges in the prior case.
The next update in the vote count will be made Friday night, according to the Registrar. Meanwhile the Peters campaign is sending out emails soliciting donations for a recount if needed, should the vote count flip yet again.
County Democratic Chair Francine Busby had this to say at the news of Peters gaining the lead in an election that’s seen Republicans picking up many seats across the nation.
“We don't yet know the outcome of every race,” Busby said in a prepared statement. “But with more than 60% of our endorsed candidates on track to victory, San Diego County Democrats have a lot to be thankful for this November.”