50th Congressional District

ISSA DECLARES VICTORY, CAMPA-NAJJAR CONCEDES IN HARD-FOUGHT 50TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT RACE

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Darrell Issa announcing his candidacy at an El Cajon press conference earlier this year.

November 8, 2020 (San Diego) – Former Congressman Darrell Issa will return to Congress, where he served for 18 years.  Issa, a Republican, declared victory in the 50th Congressional district race after the Associated Press projected that he has won the race. He currently leads 53.7% to 46.3%, a margin of 22,470 votes, according to the California Secretary of State’s website.  His opponent, Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar posted on Facebook that he has called to congratulate Issa.

Unlike the Presidential race, in which Donald Trump has yet to concede, both Issa and Campa-Najjar sought to put a sometimes bitter campaign behind them and offer praise for each other to unite the district.

In a statement on his Facebook page, Issa thanked all voters as well as his supporters and volunteers.  “Whether you supported me in this election or not, I will work tirelessly in Congress for all who call the 50th District their home, for the State of California which I love so much, and for our great country.”  Issa thanked his opponent for a “spirit campaign” adding “I wish him the best moving forward.” He praised his endorsers and primary opponents, adding, “I hope to continue to work with all of you for the betterment of our community.”

50TH DISTRICT RACE WITH CAMPA-NAJJAR, ISSA TOO CLOSE TO CALL

Update 11:30 p.m.: Darrell Issa has taken the lead with 60.7% of votes tallied.  In San Diego County, Issa has 51.8% or 116,784 votes. Campa-Najjar has 48.8% or 111,412 votes.  This does not include south Riverside County, which skews more conservative.

 
 
By Kendra Sitton
 
November 3, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- The race to replace Representative Duncan Hunter is shaping up to be a close election that will likely not be called until the final votes are counted after Nov. 20. 

NEW POLL SHOW ISSA PICKS UP LEAD IN 50TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photos:  Darrell Issa, left, and Ammar Campa-Najjar, right

 

October 30, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- A new San Diego Union-Tribune/10 News poll conducted by Survey USA shows Republican Congressman Darrell Issa with a double-digit lead over Democratic opponent Ammar Campa-Najjar in the 50th Congressional District race to fill the seat left vacant by Duncan D. Hunter’s resignation. The poll has Issa leading with 51% to Campa-Najjar’s 40%, with 9% undecided.

TIGHT RACE FOR 50TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT SEAT, POLLS INDICATE

East County News Service

October 27, 2020 (San Diego) -- A new survey released today by Strategies 360 showed each of the candidates winning 42% of likely voters who said they have already decided or are leading toward a candidate. Another 16% remain completely undecided.

 

The Cook Political Report upgraded California’s Congressional 50th district competitive rating on October 21st. Dave Wasserman’s ratings change indicates that the race is more competitive than it was in 2018 against Duncan D. Hunter, as Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar battles former Congressman Darrell Issa for the seat left vacant by Hunter’s resignation after pleading guilty to a federal corruption charge.

NEGATIVE ADS, CONTROVERIES MUDDY 50TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT RACE

By Miriam Raftery

October 13, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – As voters begin casting ballots in the 50th Congressional district, last-minute mailers and online ads for Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar and Republican Darrell Issa have gone negative, each tarring the other as unfit for public office with allegations ranging from terrorist ties to criminal actions. 

One campaign sent a mailer displaying ECM’s logo without permission; ECM does not endorse candidates and prohibits use of our logo for political purposes.

Both Issa and Campa-Najjar also recently appeared in video interviews with Defend East County. Campa-Najjar drew sharp criticism from progressives and people of color for meeting with what some has characterized as a racist vigilante group, even as Issa denounced Black Lives Matter for “doing damage” to African Americans and referenced “criminal elements” in BLM and Antifa during his video discussion with DEC's leader.

HOW ARE CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATES RESPONDING TO THOSE IN NEED DURING VALLEY FIRE IN EAST COUNTY?

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Ammar Campa-Najjar watches as Valley Fire encroaches on his community

September 6, 2020 (San Diego’s East County)7:30 p.m. – As the Valley Fire chars a devastating swath across the 50th Congressional district, scorching over 5,500 acres and forcing evacuations in many communities, the two candidates vying to represent the district have responded differently – one doing little to assist those in need, the other retweeting dozens of messages and rolling up his sleeves to help others – even after evacuating his own family.

Darrell Issa, who lives in North County outside of the district he hopes to represent, retweeted just three messages about the fire—the last over 12 hours ago. The messages included an early evacuation order 23 hours ago, but no updates when several broad, new evacuation orders were issued. He retweeted one of several road closure announcements, as well as a notice on how to get help evacuating large animals.

Ammar Campa-Najjar, by contrast, took actions personally to help others, organizing relief efforts and posting several dozen social media updates on the fire-- despite being left without power and evacuating his own family from the fire threatening his Jamul home.

The two are  vying to fill the seat vacated by Duncan Hunter, who has been sentenced to prison for diverting $250,000 in campaign finance donations to personal use, but has not yet begun his sentence due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

DEBATE HIGHLIGHTS: CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATES AIR VIEWS ON COVID-19 RELIEF, POLICE REFORMS, HEALTHCARE, IMMIGRATION, THE ECONOMY AND MORE

 

Click video at right to watch debate

By Miriam Raftery and Briana Gomez

August 16, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – With pandemic relief stalled in Congress, economic uncertainties, healthcare concerns rising, racial justice protests across the nation, and climate change fueling wildfires and water shortages, candidates running for the 50th Congressional district debated these and other hot topics on August 13tth.

Ammar Campa-Najjar, 31, a Democrat from Jamul who formerly worked for the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and at the U.S. Labor Dept., faced off against Darrell Issa, 66. a Republican who formerly represented the 49th Congressional district in North County and south Riverside.  The winner will fill the seat left vacant for months due to the resignation of Duncan Hunter who pled guilty to a federal charge of conspiracy to misuse campaign funds and has been sentenced to 11 months in prison. The district includes most of East County as well as portions of North County and Temecula in Riverside County.

The forum was moderated by Donna Bartlett-May the League of Women Voters and hosted by Community Action Service & Advocacy (CASA)  in collaboration with the East Region Collaborative Network, East County Homeless Task Force, Ninth District PTA, and media partner East County Magazine.   

EAST COUNTY VIRTUAL CANDIDATES FORUM AUG. 13: ASK QUESTIONS OF THOSE RUNNING FOR CONGRESS AND COUNTY SUPERVISOR

By Miriam Raftery

August 12, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – For the first time in over two decades, East County has open seats with no incumbents running in the 50th Congressional District and the County Board of Supervisors 2nd district.

East County Magazine is proud to serve as media partner for a virtual candidate forum moderated by the League of Women Voters and presented in collaboration with a coalition of community organizations . The forum will take place on Thursday, August 13 from 6 to 8 p.m.  You can watch and ask questions by registering through Zoom at https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_goZoodK_TdC5GNjjhZo5xw .

All candidates running are confirmed to participate.  Supervisor candidates Steve Vaus and Joel Anderson will square off at 6 p.m., followed by Congressional Candidates Darrell Issa and Ammar Campa Najjar at 7 p.m.

Community Action Service & Advocacy (CASA) is hosting the event in collaboration with the East Region Collaborative Network, East County Homeless Task Force, Ninth District PTA, and media partner East County Magazine.

CAMPA-NAJJAR AND ISSA HEAD TO RUN-OFF IN NOVEMBER IN RACE TO FILL HUNTER’S SEAT

County's four other Congressional seats appear likely to stay in Democratic control

By Miriam Raftery

March 3, 2020 (San Diego) – With 42.5% of precincts reporting in the 50th Congressional district seat vacated by the resignation of disgraced Congressman Duncan D. Hunter, Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar is leading with 34.4% of the vote and appears headed for a run-off in November against former Congressman Darrell Issa, who has 24.7% of the road.

Republicans Carl DeMaio, a conservative radio host, and State Senator Brian Jones, have 21.1% and 10.7% respectively. Marissa Calderon, a Democrat who dropped out of the race, still received 5.2%. Four other candidates scored in low single digits.

50TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT CANDIDATES DEBATE ON HOUSING, HOMELESSNESS, EQUALITY AND MORE

By Miriam Raftery

Photos, from top left:  Ammar Campa-Najjar, Carl DeMaio, Helen Horvath, Brian Jones, Darrel Issa, Henry Ota

February 15, 2020 (San Diego) – Six candidates vying to fill the vacancy left by Rep. Duncan D. Hunter’s resignation took to the stage Friday in a debate sponsored by the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors at the Doubletree Hotel in Mission Valley.  Democrat Ammar Campa Najjar squared off against Republicans Carl DeMaio, Darrell Issa and Brian Jones as well as independents Helen Horvath and Henry Ota.

In response to questions, the candiates delved into issues including housing affordability, stabilizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,  reducing homelessness, fairness and equality, bringing jobs to our region, taxation, traffic, and more.

CAMPA-NAJJAR WINS STRAW POLL BY BUSINESS GROUP AFTER CANDIDATE FORUM FOR 50TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

East County News Service

February 8, 2020 (Valley Center) – Following a debate among the top four-polling candidates in the 50th Congressional District, the Valley Center Business Association and Valley Roadrunner newspaper released a  press release with results of a straw poll. The poll found Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar “dominated with 61% of the vote,” earning more votes than all three of his Republican opponents combined in the race to fill the seat vacated by Rep. Duncan Hunter's resignation.

THE TALLY

• 61% – Ammar Campa-Najjar (D)

• 22% – Carl DeMaio (R)

• 9% – Brian Jones (R)

• 8% – Darrell Issa (R)

View the full debate:  https://www.facebook.com/valleycenter/videos/186686705769417/

REZ RADIO 91.3 TO AIR 50TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT FORUM IN VALLEY CENTER FEB. 7

East County News Service
 
February 6, 2020 (Pala) -- Rez Radio 91.3 will broadcast and live stream the 50th Congressional District candidates forum scheduled for Friday, February 7 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Valley Center High School’s Maxine Theater.  Candidates expected to attend include in alphabetical order, Ammar Campa-Najjar, Carl DeMaio, Darrell Issa, and Brian Jones.  Moderators for the forum will be VCBA’s William Del Pilar and VC Roadrunner editor David Ross.

CALDERON DROPS OUT, ENDORSES CAMPA-NAJJAR FOR CONGRESS

By Miriam Raftery

February 5, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Marissa Calderon, a Democrat  who entered the 50th Congressional district primary race belatedly after the resignation of Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter in January, has announced she is dropping out of the race to care for two family members with serious health conditions.  Calderon has endorsedAmmar Campa-Najjar, who is also endorsed by the Democratic Party.

Calderon’s name will still appear on ballots which were printed before her withdrawal.

SAN DIEGO ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS HOSTS FEB. 14 DEBATES FOR 50TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT CANDIDATES AND SAN DIEGO MAYOR

East County News Service 
 
Image based on creative commons photo via Bing
 
February 1, 2020 (San Diego) — The Greater San Diego Association of REALTORS (SDAR) and SDMLS will host back-to-back candidate debates on Friday, February 14 for California’s 50th Congressional District (the race to fill the vacant seat formerly held by Rep. Duncan Hunter) and City of San Diego Mayor. The #SDARdebates is a special event that will take place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., following the annual New Laws & Industry Outlook event. Moderating both debates will be Matthew T. Hall, editorial and opinion director at The San Diego Union-Tribune and president-elect of the national board of the Society of Professional Journalists.
 
You are invited to attend and cover this major political event with an expected audience of 400 people. Registration is free and required for admittance to this event.

REP. HUNTER TO RESIGN JANUARY 13: OFFICE TO REMAIN OPEN TO HANDLE CONSTITUENT SERVICES

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Miriam Raftery:  Duncan D. Hunter in 2014 debate

Update: There will be no special election due to the timing of Hunter's resignation and the high cost of a special election, given that this race is already on the March primary ballot and November general election.  Federal law requires both primary and run-off elections to fill a Congressional vacancy.

January 7, 2019 (San Diego) – Congressman Duncan D. Hunter today announced he will resign effective close of business on January 13th.  Hunter made the announcement in letters sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and to Governor Gavin Newsom.

Hunter’s District Chief of Staff Michael Harrison informed ECM that services for constituents will not be interrupted.  ““The office will remain open throughout a vacancy, no matter how long it may take.  Constituents can continue contacting the office with any of their needs, they also have Senators Feinstein and Harris as resources as well,” he stated in an e-mail today. 

Ten candidates have filed to run for Hunter’s seat in the March primary election. The top two will advance to a run-off election in November, so the seat will be vacant until a new representative is sworn in, in January 2021.

The Republican Congressman’s resignation letters cite his service first as a Marine combat veteran in Iraq and Afghanistan and later, in Congress, where he was elected in 2008 to fill the seat formerly held by his father. He praised his father, Duncan Hunter, and growing up I East County for instilling values of “liberty, the value of patriotism, and what a strong and secure border can bring to a community.”

TEN CANDIDATES QUALIFY FOR MARCH BALLOT IN RACE TO REPLACE HUNTER

 

Update:  Minutes after publication of this article, Hunter announced plans to resign January 13.

By Miriam Raftery

January 7, 2020 (San Diego) – Rep. Duncan Hunter has not yet resigned, despite saying he would do so after the holiday following his guilty plea to conspiracy to spend campaign funds for personal use.  But he didn’t file to run for reelection. Instead, voters will have 10 candidates to choose from.

The contenders include two Democrats, four Republicans, three no-party-preference candidates, and a Peace and Freedom party member. They’re vying to finish in the top two spots in the March primary in order to advance to a November run-off election.

Here’s a look at how some of the major candidates’ campaigns are taking shape:

READER’S EDITORIAL: WE’VE COME A LONG WAY BABY – OR HAVE WE? EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT: A 100 YEAR WALK IN THE LEGAL BONEYARD

By Helen Horvath

Isn’t it time we made the system work for women instead of the women work for the system?

December 18, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- Two of my favorite songs in the fight for equal rights for women include V-Day’s “Break the Chain” and Andra Day’s “Rise Up”.  These songs touch my heartstrings in different ways. I often raise my hands to the sky as I pray for improvements and opportunities for the women in our communities.  Women are not possessions and should not be held back from future success based upon relationship status, religion, or beliefs of others.  Women in our community are professional athletes, mothers, teachers, doctors, attorneys, fast food workers, and a sundry of other occupations.  Many times, women are paid less than their male colleagues. 

Women must always remember that we are beautiful creatures who guide and teach our children, family members, and communities how to break the chain to create opportunities to “be the change” to be impactful.

Let’s face facts: women are often the hearts of our communities. Together women do move mountains. 

HOUSE ETHICS COMMITTEE STRIPS HUNTER OF VOTING IN BIPARTISAN ACTION AFTER GUILTY PLEA

By Miriam Raftery

December 5, 2019 (San Diego) – In a bipartisan action, today leaders of the House Ethics Committee sent Congressman Duncan D. Hunter a letter notifying him that he should no longer cast any votes in the House, due to his guilty plea on conspiracy to misuse campaign funds for personal expenditures.

While the order is not mandatory, the letter threatens disciplinary action if he fails to comply, which could include expulsion from the House. The letter was signed by Ethics Chairman Ted Deutch of Florida, a Democrat, and ranking member Kenny Marchant, a Republican.

Hunter has previously been stripped by Republicans in the House of serving on any committees. His 50th Congresional district is thus left without representation on all voting matters, though his staff can continue to provide constituent services. 

He could resume voting if reelected, but if he chooses to run for reelection in 2020, he could be in prison and unable to serve. Hunter is slated for sentencing in March and could face up to five years in prison plus a quarter of a million dollar fine – the same amount he was accused of embezzling from his campaign.

HUNTER PLEADS GUILTY TO CONSPIRACY TO MISUSE CAMPAIGN FUNDS FOR PERSONAL USE; TELLS MEDIA HE WILL RESIGN FROM CONGRESS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Miriam Raftery: Congressman Duncan D. Hunter and his wife, Margaret

December 3, 2019 (San Diego) -- Congressman Duncan D. Hunter pleaded guilty today in federal court to one count of conspiracy to misuse campaign funds for personal use.  His admission of guilt  comes after months of claiming he was innocent and a target of a political witch hunt. 

The Republican Congressman from Alpine could face up to five years in prison and a quarter of a million dollar fine – ironically, the same amount that he and his wife were accused of embezzling from their campaign and spending on a lavish personal lifestyle.  He is slated for sentencing on March 17th and could received a lesser sentence, such as a shorter prison term, probation or community service.  His wife, Margaret, earlier pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and will be sentenced in April.

Hunter, a former Marine combat veteran, could have faced decades in prison if found guilty in a trial on 60 federal charges that included wire fraud and falsifying campaign reports to hide theft of funds spent on family vacations overseas, overnight trysts with five mistresses, oral surgery bills and airfare for a pet rabbit, among other illegal uses of campaign donors’ money.

REPUBLICANS DECLINE TO ENDORSE ANY CANDIDATE IN 50TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT SEAT HELD BY HUNTER, BUT JONES GETS MOST VOTES

By Miriam Raftery

October 17, 2019 (San Diego) – It’s rare for a political party to withhold endorsement of an incumbent.  But on Monday night, the San Diego Republican Party Central Committee opted against endorsing indicted Congressman Duncan D. Hunter, or any of his three Republican rivals.  

CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE BRIAN JONES OFFERS TO LEAD NON-RESIDENT RIVALS ISSA AND DEMAIO ON TOUR OF EAST COUNTY

“Whenever you are confronted with an opponent. Conquer him with love.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor and Miriam Raftery, Editor

October 6, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – In the rough and tumble world of politics, State Senator Brian Jones has found a witty way to drive home a key advantage of his Congressional candidacy: unlike two prominent rivals, former Rep. Darrell Issa and talk show host Carl DeMaio, Jones actually lives in the 50th Congressional district that each hopes to represent.

After Issa and DeMaio held dueling press conferences in downtown El Cajon to draw media attention to their efforts to oust indicted Congressman Duncan D. Hunter, Jones posted an open letter via the San Diego Rostra website last Friday inviting  his non-resident rivals on a tour of the district. The tour led by Jones at the wheel would include rugged backcountry terrain and a stop at a shooting range.

ARMY VETERAN AND FEDERAL CONTRACTOR HELEN HORVATH, INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE FOR CONGRESS, TAKES AIM AT HUNTER’S SEAT

 

"I believe we need more independents in Congress because  parties are so mired in their fighting…they’re not representing the country. I value our community, and I want to serve the country.”  -- Helen Horvath, mliitary veteran, federal consultant and Alpine resident

By Miriam Raftery

September 29, 2019 (San Diego) – Like many voters, Helen Horvath is an independent whose views on key issues cross political aisles. She’s a fiscal conservative who wants to use her expertise to cut the national debt, but also believes we need to move toward a clean energy future and protect women’s rights, while taking a moderate stance on gun issues. She supports strong border security while also showing compassion for refugees fleeing violence, and pledges to be a strong voice for military families and veterans.

Now she’s entered the 50th Congressional district race, vying against indicted Rep. Duncan Hunter,  Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar, conservative talk show host Carl DeMaio, former Rep. Darrell Issa and State Senator Brian Jones. (Note: the latter two entered the race this week, after our interview).

Hear our interview: In an interview originally aired on KNSJ 89.1 FM radio last month, Horvath shared her thoughts in depth. Listen to the full interview by clicking the audio link,  and scroll down for highlights.

Audio: 

FOUR RIVALS DROP OUT AND ENDORSE ISSA IN RACE TO REPLACE HUNTER; DEMAIO DISRUPTS WITH COMPETING RALLY

 

CA Senator Brian Jones, also running, chides non-resident candidates for holding press conference in “wrong district”  

Video excerpt: Darrell Issa

Video excerpt: Carl DeMaio

by Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

September 26, 2019 (El Cajon) -- The weather in El Cajon Thursday morning was cloudy and drizzly in front of City Hall. But the political rhetoric was sweltering. In the race for San Diego’s 50th Congressional District, four Republican candidates for the seat bowed out and swung their support to former 49th District Congressman Darrell Issa.

Another candidate, former San Diego City Councilman and conservative radio host Carl DeMaio, held a rival press conference some 100 feet away to attack Issa. State Senator Brian Jones, who is also running, chose to remain above the fray by staying away.

DARRELL ISSA SAYS HE'LL RUN FOR HUNTER SEAT IF TRADE JOB ISN'T HIS BY NOV. 3

By Ken Stone

Reprinted with permission from Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Former Rep. Darrell Issa was chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee from January 2011 to January 2015. Photo courtesy Issa’s office

September 11, 2019 (San Diego) - Former Rep. Darrell Issa says he’ll run for Congress in Rep. Duncan Hunter’s East County district if the Senate continues to drag its feet on his nomination to a trade post.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: CONGRESSIONAL CANDIATE AMMAR CAMPA-NAJJAR ON HIS PLANS TO BRING HIGH-INCOME JOBS TO EAST COUNTY AND MORE

By Miriam Raftery

Listen to the full interview, originally aired on KNSJ radio: click the audio link.

Learn more about Ammar Campa-Najjar's town hall at the Alpine Community Center on August 18 from 1-4 p.m. by clicking here.

August 9, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – “We need an economy and a government that works for working people,” says Ammar Campa-Najjar, who is running for the 50th Congressional district seat currently held by indicted Congressman Duncan Hunter. So we sat down with Campa-Najjar on our radio show to discuss those plans in detail.

Headlines tout a strong GDP as well as low unemployment. But  those numbers don’t tell the full story,  Campa-Najjar points out. “That’s great if you own stock.  But it’s not great if unemployment is low because one person is working three jobs, barely making a living and living paycheck to paycheck, having to choose whether to buy a gallon of gas or a gallon of milk.”  He says that in talking with people across the district, he’s hearing from people who are having to cut prescription pills in half or who can’t pay for insulin, choosing which bills to skip paying to cover basic survival needs. “These are real issues in the district, especially in rural areas."

Unlike most candidates who have run for this seat through the years, Campa-Najjar says he is uniquely positioned to bring good jobs to East County and elsewhere in the district because “I worked at the Department of Labor to create good-paying jobs, not just in San Diego County, but throughout the country.”

At the Department of Labor, he worked on creating apprenticeship jobs to train workers in high-paying fields, as well as setting up summer youth jobs and opportunities for veterans.  He later worked for the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce as communications and marketing director, which included promoting opportunities for small businesses to secure contracts with the federal government and corporations. He’s also worked as an educator teaching at UCSD, USD and SDSU.

He’s also a small business owner and Jamul resident who was born in La Mesa and raised by a working class Catholic mother. His first job was as a janitor at his church, where he became a youth leader before graduating from San Diego State and later working in the White House and at the U.S. Department of Labor.

So what kinds of jobs would he bring to the district, including rural areas, small towns and Native American reservations?

Audio: 

Ammar Campa-Najjar interview

HUNTER DRAWS FIRE FOR ADMISSIONS HE SHOT AT CIVILIANS AND POSED WITH DEAD IRAQI SOLDIERS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Duncan D. Hunter, right, via Duncan D. Hunter for Congress campaign

June 2, 2019 (San Diego) – Republican Congressman Duncan D. Hunter is drawing fire for admitting that he fired at civilians in Iraq while serving combat duty with the Marines, also posing with corpses of dead enemy combatants.

Hunter has been vocal in his public support of Chief Special Warfare Operator Edward Gallagher, a San Diego-based Navy Seal charged with war crimes including shooting at civilians and fatally stabbing a young wounded prisoner, then posing with the corpse.

During a town hall meeting in Ramona over Memorial Day weekend, Hunter stated that Gallagher “did one bad thing that I’m guilty of too –taking a picture of the body and saying something stupid,” Times of San Diego reported, posting an audio recording.

Hunter doubled down on those remarks during a later taped interview with the online site Zero Blog Thirty, in which he stated, “So, I was an artillery officer and we fired hundreds of rounds into Fallujah, killing probably hundreds of civilians,” adding, “probably killed women and children if there were any left in the city when we invaded. Do I get judged, too?”

As for the charges Gallagher faces of murdering a teenage ISIS fighter who had been brought in for medical treatment, Hunter told Zero Blog Thirty, ““I frankly don’t care if he was killed. I just don’t care.” He added that even if Gallagher did stab the wounded prisoner to death, he still “deserves a break”, indicating Gallagher should not be held accountable for violating the Military Code of Justice.

Barstool Sports, which publishes the Zero Blog Thirty podcast, released a statement Sunday calling Hunter’s rhetoric “horrific.”

HUNTER LEAD SLIPS AS COUNTING CONTINUES; CAMPA-NAJJAR TRAILS BY JUST OVER 10,000 VOTES

 

Update November 28, 2018:  Statewide, Hunter's lead has slipped further. Hunter now leads by 3.6%, with 51.8% to Campa-Najjar with 48.2%.  Hunter has 131,436 votes and Campa-Najjar has 122,255, or a difference  of 8,181 votes. San Diego County has 47,000 ballots left to process, but it's unclear how many are in the 50th Congressoinal District. There may also be a small number of untallied votes left in Riverside County.

By Miriam Raftery

November 19, 2018 (San Diego)—On Election night, indicted Congressman Duncan D. Hunter led challenger Ammar Campa Najjar by nearly 9%.  But as of tonight, Hunter’s lead has slipped to just 4.3% counting both Riverside and San Diego counties, or a difference of 10,046 votes out of 231,800 votes cast.

Importantly, in San Diego, which has  over 10 times more voters in the 50th Congressional District than Riverside, Hunter’s lead is a scant 4.6%, a margin of just 7,782 votes. Countywide, the San Diego Registrar reports 112,000 ballots not yet tallied, though it’s unclear how many are in the50th Congressional district.

 Hunter has 52.17% of the vote locally, compared to 47.83% for Campa-Najjar, who has been steadily gaining ground as late mail-in and provisional ballots favoring Democrats are counted.

Regardless of the final tally, this is clearly the closest race ever in this once reliably conservative district.  In his prior five campaigns for Congress, Hunter waltzed easily to victory over his Democratic opponents with margins of victory ranging from 17% in 2016 to a whopping 42.8% in 2014. His father, the former Congressman, similary won by hefty margins during his many years in office.

REP. HUNTER COULD LOSE HIS CONGRESSIONAL PENSION IF CONVICTED OF CORRUPTION CHARGES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 5, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – Indicted Rep. Duncan D. Hunter (R-Alpine) could lose his Congressional pension if convicted of felony corruption charges under federal reform laws. Those include the “Honest Leadership and Open Government Act” that his father, Duncan Hunter Sr., voted for in 2007.

REP. DUNCAN HUNTER AND WIFE INDICTED ON CORRUPTION CHARGES

 

 

Hunter stripped of committee assignments over "deeply serious charges", House Speaker Paul Ryan acknowledges

Update: August 23, 2018: Congressman Hunter and his wife have entered not guilty pleas. ECM news partner 10 News has details: https://www.10news.com/news/rep-duncan-hunter-set-to-be-arraigned-follow....

By Miriam Raftery

August 22, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – Congressman Duncan D. Hunter and his wife, Margaret, have been indicted on federal charges of conspiring to commit wire fraud and falsifying campaign records to take over a quarter of a million dollars in campaign funds and use them for personal expenses, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced yesterday.

The indictment alleges that the Hunters also falsely represented personal expenses as purchases made to help wounded veterans and other charitable causes. in addition, a letter from Hunter's attorney to the Justice Department reveals, prosecutors suggest campaign funds were spent on "extramarital infidenlities and excessive drinking."

HIT PIECE MAILER BY BUTNER CAMPAIGN SLURS CAMPA-NAJJAR WITH FALSE CLAIMS IN CONGRESSIONAL RACE

 

Hear our interviews with 4 candidates in the race on their immigration views

By Miriam Raftery

May 30, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – A campaign mailer sent by 50th Congressional candidate Josh Butner, a Republican-turned-Democrat, to voters contained false smears against his opponent, Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar.  KPBS reports that Butner’s mailer distorted Campa-Najjar’s stances on immigration, falsely claiming he’s defended Trump’s Muslim ban.

It also has a photo taken before Donald Trump’s presidency, when Campa-Najjar says was working with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, to falsely position Campa-Najjar as a Trump supporter when in fact, he has been a vocal opponent of a wide range of Trump’s policies.

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