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Bilbray, Peters announce dueling endorsements

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Within an hour-and-a-half of each other, Rep. Brian Bilbray and his challenger in the race to represent the 52nd District, Scott Peters, announced Thursday competing endorsements.

Bilbray secured the support of Biocom, the local trade association that represents the region’s powerful biotech industry, which has a sizable presence in the district.

Peters, commissioner of the Port of San Diego and a former president of the San Diego City Council, meanwhile announced an endorsement from both the national and state chapters of the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) Action Fund, support that’ll play to the coastal district’s environmentally minded voters.

The endorsements — a traditional business-friendly trade organization for the Republican Bilbray and an environmental organization for the Democrat Peters — fit into the existing framework of a race that’s increasingly taking on national attention.

“From support of basic research to helping to reform the FDA so patients can get access to life-saving treatments earlier to supporting the emerging field of biorenewables, Congressman Brian Bilbray has been a champion of the life sciences industry and of San Diego,” Biocom CEO Joe Panetta wrote of the politician who in 2011 was named the organization’s legislator of the year, in a release announcing the endorsement.

Bilbray sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He has also introduced legislation to repeal a medical device tax that was included in President Barack Obama’s signature Affordable Care Act and which was attacked by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at a spring campaign stop at NuVasive in Sorrento Valley.

“LCV Action Fund is proud to endorse Scott Peters for Congress because he has a remarkable track record as an environmental champion, he is a strong advocate for public health, and he is a proven community leader who knows how to create sustainable jobs that grow the economy,” LCV Action Fund President Gene Karpinski wrote of Peters, the former environmental attorney, in a release announcing the endorsement.

The LCV releases annual scorecards on legislators’ voting records. It gave Bilbray a score of 17 percent in 2011. In the 111th Congress (2009-2010) he scored 25 percent, and in the two-year periods preceding it he scored 30 percent, zero percent and 73 percent. His 2011 score is based on more than 100 congressional votes.

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