Updated at 2:20 a.m. Nov. 7, 2012
Rep. Susan Davis cruised to re-election Tuesday, leading Republican challenger Nick Popaditch 60.5 percent to 39.5 percent with almost 91 percent of precincts counted in the redrawn 53rd Congressional District.
She was one of four incumbents in the San Diego County delegation to hold their seats—along with Republicans Duncan D. Hunter, Darrel Issa and Brian Bilbray.
Sen. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, will become the first new member of San Diego's congressional delegation in four years after defeating Republican Michael Crimmins in the 51st Congressional District race.
Vargas, who will fill the seat being vacated by Rep. Bob Filner, D-San Diego, had nearly two-thirds of the votes in the first release of results in the district that includes part of southern San Diego County and Imperial County. Filner vacated his seat after two decades to run for mayor of San Diego.
Vargas will be the first new face among San Diego's five congressmen since Hunter, R-Alpine, assumed his father's seat in 2008.
The early returns also showed Bilbray, R-Solana Beach, with an early lead of 51.6 percent to 48.4 percent over Port Commissioner Scott Peters in the 52nd District.
Democrats believe they have a strong chance to unseat Bilbray, after redistricting moved his district into unfamiliar inland territory.
Peters attempted to paint Bilbray as a tool of far-right elements of the Republican Party who wants to privatize Social Security, make Draconian cuts to education and scientific research and reduce the social safety net for the elderly, ill and disabled.
Bilbray has denied Peters' claims on entitlements and contends Peters is largely to blame for the city of San Diego's one-time fiscal mess, which occurred while he was a councilman, and has taken to calling his opponent the "Bernie Madoff of San Diego."
The reference to the financier who committed the largest financial fraud scheme in U.S. history relates to the underfunding of the city of San Diego's employee pension system, which sent municipal finances into a tailspin.
—City News Service contributed to this report.