CA-52 Republican congressional challenger Carl DeMaio has raised $1.6 million as of 3/31. That puts him at or near the top of congressional challenger fundraisers. Fred Simon, a trauma surgeon, wasn't expected to be DeMaio's most serious Republican challenger. That was supposed to be, and might still be, Tea Party favorite Kirk Jorgensen. Simon loaned his campaign $1.35 million, an astronomical sum for a congressional race.
There are few congressional challengers like DeMaio. He knows everyone in San Diego and is well connected to the Republican apparatus. He has a vast network of volunteers he can call on. He has run a mayoral campaign that garnered a a majority of the votes in this district. Most candidates don't have one of those on their resume, let alone all of them. Simon, however, wouldn't be putting that kind of money into his campaign if he didn't see a payoff. If he plans to spend those bucks he could garner a lot of votes and cause serious problems for DeMaio's prospects at making top two. This race bears watching, because DeMaio can't just skate into the general election.