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Republican Darrell Issa and Democrat Ammar Campa Najjar battle for the open seat in California’s 50th Congressional District


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Republican Darrell Issa and Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar face off this November to represent California’s 50th Congressional District.

Former GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter represented the district for nearly four terms in Congress but became embroiled in a scandal when federal prosecutors charged him and his wife Margaret with over 60 counts of embezzling campaign funds, wire fraud, falsification of campaign finance records, and conspiracy.

Duncan lost his committee assignments upon being indicted, and submitted letters of resignation to both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Gov. Gavin Newsom a month after pleading guilty. Hunter resigned too late for Newsom to call a special election, leaving the seat vacant. In March, Hunter was sentenced to 11 months in federal prison.

California currently has a “top-two primary” system, meaning that the top two winners of the primary election go on the final ballot, regardless of their political party.

The candidates

Issa is a former US House representative who once represented the 48th and 49th districts, which both include portions of Orange County and are now represented by Democrats.

He is the co-founder and former CEO of Directed Electronics, one of the largest automobile security companies in the U.S. With an estimated net worth of $250 million, Issa was the richest member of Congress during his tenure. His 2020 campaign platform emphasizes building on a wall on the southern border, opposing illegal immigration and sanctuary cities, and creating fairer trade policies. 

In late 2018, several months after announcing he was not seeking reelection, Issa was nominated by President Donald Trump to become the director of the United States Trade and Development Agency. In California’s “top-two primary” in March, Issa placed second behind Campa-Najjar.

Campa-Najjar is the deputy regional field director for President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign and served a role in the Executive Office of the President.

He later became the communications and marketing director for the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and led the Office of Public Affairs for the Employment and Training Administration in the U.S. Department of Labor.

In 2018, Campa-Najjar ran against Rep. Hunter and narrowly lost by a margin of 3.4 percentage points. His 2020 campaign platform focuses on helping Southern California recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, expanding access to affordable healthcare, and increasing economic opportunity and supporting small businesses in the district. 

The district

California’s 50th Congressional District is located in the state’s southern region and is home to the northeastern and central regions of San Diego County as well as a portion of Riverside County. 

The district has traditionally been solidly Republican. For the 2016 presidential election, the 50th Congressional District voted for President Trump over Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in a 55-40 percentage point split of the vote, according to the Daily Kos.

The money race

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Issa has raised about $5.5 million, spent $5 million, and currently has $515,000 in cash on hand as the November election approaches. Campa-Najjar has raised approximately $3 million for his campaign, spent $2 million, and has …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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