By Alison St. John
Voters want someone in Washington who will put more people back to work and cut unemployment.
Two Democratic candidates, Port Commissioner Scott Peters and former Assemblywoman Lori Saldana, are vying to challenge incumbent Republican Congressman Brian Bilbray in November. They prioritize different strategies when it comes to creating jobs.
Port Chair Scott Peters and former Assemblywoman Lori Saldana know only one of them will make it through the Open Primary in June to compete against Republican Incumbent Brian Bilbray for the 52nd Congressional seat. They talk about different initiatives to create jobs.
Scott Peters said a top focus for him if he makes it to Congress would be building infrastructure.
"Congress isn't making the kind of investments that our parents made in the roads, the bridges, the rail, the power grid and now broadband that we need to be competitive in the 21st century," he said. "We need the federal government to have a strategy for doing that nationwide. We need to make these investments a priority and they would put people to work today."
Peters also said he would fight for Congress to fund research to bolster San Diego's high tech jobs.
Both Peters and Saldana said funding education is key to train people for the jobs of tomorrow.
Saldana said she supports incentives for businesses to retrofit their buildings to be more energy efficient. She cited California bill AB 1103 -- a bill she supported that had bi-partisan support - as an example of how to create jobs.
"It created a whole market of small businesses and entrepreneurs out there, advising commercial property owners how to make their building competitive," she said. "When they say, "you need to put in insulation here, double pane glass there,' that stimulates the whole manufacturing of those products, it puts people to work making those modifications, that's how you create jobs."
Incumbent Republican Brian Bilbray is expected to be among the top two winners in June's Open Primary. The National Republican Congressional Committee has pledged to put extra resources into the campaign to help him retain his seat in congress. He currently represents the 50th district, but redistricting means he is now running for the 52nd seat, where voters are evenly split between republican, democrat and independent.
Voters will decide which is the strongest democratic candidate to challenge him for the new 52nd congressional seat, which includes Rancho Bernardo, Poway, Rancho Penasquitos, La Jolla and Coronado.