Rep. Scott Peters to avoid 2020 Mayoral race, opts for re-election instead

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Rep. Scott Peters, long considered a likely candidate for San Diego mayor in 2020, announced his intent Wednesday to seek another term in Congress instead.

Peters, who represents the 52nd Congressional District, said he feels he will have more opportunities to advance San Diego’s priorities while serving in a House of Representatives that has a Democratic majority for the first time since 2010.

Peters, D-San Diego, was first elected to the House in 2012. He is currently the second-ranking member on the House Energy Subcommittee and the third-ranking member on the Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee, which he said both play a critical role in supporting San Diego’s renewable energy industry.

“I have a great job serving in Congress,” Peters said. “I’m proud to have built my service around the connections between D.C. and the people I serve, science and technology, the military, our veterans, the border and environmental protection.”

Peters’ decision to skip the mayoral race comes in the wake of announcements by Assemblyman Todd Gloria, D-San Diego, and San Diego City Councilwoman Barbara Bry that they will run for mayor in 2020. Peters would have been the third major Democrat, and likely the most moderate one, in the race for the technically nonpartisan position.

He expressed confidence to the San Diego Union-Tribune in his ability to win the race, but said he decided to stay in a position without term limits and one in which he continues to rise up the party ranks.

“I know this announcement will leave many of you surprised, some disappointed and others relieved,” Peters said. “As always, thank you for the honor you have given me to serve.”

It remains to be seen whether any Republican candidates will step forward in an effort to succeed Mayor Kevin Faulconer. Potential competition for Bry and Gloria could include City Councilman Mark Kersey and retired San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman, but the latter two haven’t yet announced which way they’ll go.

Scott Peters released the following statement regarding his decision to run for re-election to Congress in 2020:

“As I write this, our partial government shutdown is the longest in our history. It’s my style to find common ground. When was that ever more needed in Washington?” Peters wrote. “I just spent my first full week in the majority in Congress, with another term of seniority. It’s clear to me that I will have more influence than ever on our San Diego and national priorities. Here in Congress, I’m in a position to better serve the city I love and to help heal a country that is crippled by anger and division.

I have a great job serving in Congress. I’m proud to have built my service around the connections between D.C. and the people I serve, science and technology, the military, our veterans, the border, and environmental protection,” he added.

Peters, who earned an appointment to the influential House Energy and Commerce Committee last term, yesterday was re-appointed and now ranks second on its Energy Subcommittee and third on its Environment Subcommittee. Both are critical to San Diego’s growing renewable energy companies which employ tens of thousands of San Diegans, to keeping San Diego’s air and water clean and safe, and to addressing the planet’s climate change crisis, all top priorities for Peters.

Peters went on to say that because he cares so much about the future of our City, he plans to fully engage in the Mayor’s race in a substantive and meaningful way. He will make an endorsement in the future, but not at this time.

“I hope every San Diegan will join me as leaders and voters in a serious evaluation of the candidates and their plans for the future,” he said. For months, many San Diego leaders, citing Peters’ broad experience and record of bringing people together, had urged Peters to run and pledged their support.

“I know this announcement will leave many of you surprised, some disappointed, and others relieved. As always, thank you for the honor you have given me to serve.”

Scott Peters represents California’s 52nd Congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives. First elected to Congress in 2012. In addition to the Energy and Commerce Committee, he also serves on the House Veterans Affairs Committees. He was re-elected to his fourth term in November 2018 by a 28-point margin.

Categories: Local San Diego News, Politics