Update June 6, 2018 9 a.m. -- According to the California Secretary of State, with 100% of precincts counted but not late mail-ins or provisionals, the results are: Duncan Hunter 48.7%, Ammar Campa-Najjar 16.3%, Bill Wells 13.1%, Josh Butner 12.1%, Patrick Malloy 6.0%, Shamus Sayed 2.1%, and Richard Kahle 1.1%. The finish order for candidates was the same in both San Diego and Riverside County, with only late mail-in and provisionals yet to be tallied.
Campa-Najjar, who appears headed to the November run-off against Hunter, previously did an interview with ECM . Hear the interview and read highlights here: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/hear-our-interview-ammar-campa-najjar-...
By Miriam Raftery
Photo: Ammar Campa-Najjar supporters. by Jonathan Goetz
June 5, 2018 (San Diego's East County) -- Beleaguered Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter could be in trouble come the November election. Currently under criminal investigation for allegedly spending lavish amounts of campaign funds for personal use, he currently has less than half the vote in the primary race.
With 15.3% of precincts tallied, Hunter has 47.62% of the vote. The big question is who will advance to the top-two run-off election in November. Presently, Democrats Ammar Campa-Najjar, a former Obama administration labor official, and retired Navy Seal Josh Butner are in second and third place with 15.45% and 13.79% respectively, followed closely by El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells at 13.42%. Democrat Patrick Malloy has a 6.36% and Shamus Sayed 2.04%.
That's in San Diego County, where about 76,000 votes have been counted so far. The district also has some voters in Riverside County, where 3 or 25 precints have been counted, or about 4,600 votes tallied. Among Riverside voters, Hunter has a slight majority at 51.44%. Campa-Najjar is also in second in Riverside, with 13.13% but Wells is in third at 12.1%, with a narrow five vote lead over Butner.
Should a Democrat make it into the run-off, the key question will be whether dissatistaction with Hunter will alienate a sufficient number of Republicans and independent voters to give a Hunter challenger a viable shot. The 50th Congressioinal District is among the most solidly Republican in the state, ordinarily out of play for Democrats, though the demographics are slowly inching toward blue. With a grand jury reportedly being convened this month, the prospect of an indictment before Election Day could impact the outcome in this race.
Should Mayor Wells climb upwards to edge out the two top Democrats once all votes are counted, voters could have a choice bewteen only two Republican contenders. All of the challengers have pledged to restore integrity and ethics to the seat if they win.
Photo, right: Mayor Bill Wells at polls, via Bettie Wells' Facebook page.