A Brief History of the Craziest Congressional Campaign of the Year

PHOTO: Candidate Carl DeMaio, R-Calif., is interviewed in CQ Roll Call offices. Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images
Candidate Carl DeMaio, R-Calif., is interviewed in CQ Roll Call offices.

If anyone in Hollywood writes a movie script based on one congressional campaign of the 2014 midterm election season, Tinseltown should look no farther than California's 52nd Congressional District.

A film about this political drama, which pits freshman Democratic Rep. Scott Peters against former City Councilman Carl DeMaio, might not garner any Oscar nominations, but it has all the scandalous allegations and sexual intrigue of a silver-screen blockbuster.

PHOTO: Democratic Congressman of the 52nd district Scott Peters campaigns at a town hall meeting with senior citizens, Oct. 21, 2014, in San Diego.Lenny Ignelzi/AP Photo
Democratic Congressman of the 52nd district Scott Peters campaigns at a town hall meeting with senior citizens, Oct. 21, 2014, in San Diego.

Oct. 19: As the two candidates took their positions at a televised forum last Sunday, DeMaio coolly refused to shake hands with Peters, who DeMaio then confronted about the campaign playbook. While Peters acknowledged that his campaign received "information" last June, he denied any culpability and said he immediately turned it over to police.

Oct. 20: The saga reached its climax when San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis announced DeMaio won't be criminally charged with sexual harassment. Neither will Bosnich face charges of burglary.

Oct. 22: DeMaio and Peters appear together at another event, and DeMaio again refuses to shake Peters’ hand, gesturing that he was sick.

DeMaio is one of the GOP’s most-prized recruits, with House Speaker John Boehner even shunning some conservatives to campaign alongside the Republican challenger. Now, DeMaio is attempting to rebound from two weeks of mudslinging in time for Election Day on Nov. 4.

With the sexual harassment allegations all but put to bed, DeMaio has publicly complained that Peters’ campaign promoted Bosnich’s story behind the scenes, unfairly exploiting his homosexuality to feed the media’s infatuation with erotic allegations about a perverted candidate.

"I guess you can say anything about the gay guy and some people will believe it," DeMaio told The Hill last weekend. "I think that when we learned this week that Scott Peters' campaign was actively promoting this smear to reporters and making other claims that were outrageous, despicable, disgraceful, unethical -- it simply confirmed for me the lengths that this man would go and the lack of judgment that [Peters] possesses to simply hang onto a political seat in Congress."

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