Momentum has shifted in the race for California’s 50th Congressional District.
Criminal co-conspirators Duncan and Margaret Hunter charged with 60 counts of campaign finance fraud in a 47-page indictment handed up Tuesday, pleaded not guilty on Thursday in San Diego Federal Court.
While that was national news blared from coast to coast on cable TV, the real news was the momentum grabbed by Ammar Campa-Najjar, the patriot who is about to rescue the 50th Congressional District of California from the clutches of the 37-year reign of fraud and greed perpetrated by the Duncan Hunter (I and II) criminal grifter family.
The independent, non-partisan Cook Political Report that analyzes top political elections and campaigns, Friday said: “Hunter’s race moves from Solid Republican to the Lean Republican column, with the potential to move further.”
Cook added: “This military-heavy San Diego County seat is the most ruby red district in Southern California: it voted for President Trump 55 percent to 40 percent in 2016 and reelected Hunter with 64 percent. But Hunter received just 47 percent in June’s top-two primary, while two other Republicans combined for 15 percent. Former Obama Labor Department official Ammar Campa-Najjar advanced with 18 percent.”
This Hunter indictment was a big deal, especially considering that in the history of California elections an incumbent Republican congressional representative in a majority-Republican district has NEVER lost a general election re-election campaign.
The breathtakingly corrupt Hunter campaign finance fraud scam called out by Republican-appointed prosecutors at federal court Thursday appeared to represent a complete game changer.
On Thursday, according to the Los Angeles Times, Campa-Najjar joined a couple dozen protesters outside the San Diego courthouse where Hunter was arraigned. With 15 news cameras recording the scene — an extraordinary media presence for any congressional campaign — he thanked Hunter, a former Marine, for his service, then went on the attack.
“I think Washington chewed him up and spat him out and engulfed him in the corruption that has plagued Washington for too long,” he said just before Hunter emerged from the courthouse to shouts of “shame on you!”
Duncan Hunter has exited the court to a crowd chanting “shame on you” pic.twitter.com/ejOjG0pcRN
— Javier Panzar ? (@jpanzar) August 23, 2018
Following that experience, Campa-Najjar took the opportunity to charge into the partisan right-wing lion’s den that is Fox News, appearing for an interview with Neil Cavuto. Here’s the interview followed by a transcript furnished by Fox. Here’s a link since Fox News’ embed code, like the network’s politics, doesn’t work: http://video.foxnews.com/v/5826043879001/?#sp=show-clips
AMMAR CAMPA-NAJJAR, D-CALIFORNIA CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: Hi, Neil. How are you?
CAVUTO: Very good, sir.
We reached out to Congressman Hunter. He’s going to be appearing on another Fox show.
But, sir, very good to have you. Does this change the dynamic in your race? How do you look at it?
CAMPA-NAJJAR: It does.
And the solidly Republican thing or solidly Democrat, it’s 100 solidly American, this district that I belong to. And I think this does change the race.
I was just talking to my pastor about how I should confront this issue. And, first, I just want to say that Congressman Duncan Hunter honorably served our country abroad. He fought the battles that we wage abroad, so someone like me could have the luxury to fight the ones we have here at home.
But I think that man who served our country never made it back from the battlefield. And I think Washington chewed him up and spat him out, and he lost his way.
And so I think people are looking for someone who will lead with their values, somebody who not only will pass laws, but follow the law. And that’s what I’m trying to run for everybody in the district, not just for the resisters or the Trumpsters, but for everybody.
And I talk to people in my district all the time.
CAVUTO: Well, how do you know — how do you know Washington won’t chew you up and spit you out?
CAMPA-NAJJAR: Because I actually served in Washington long enough to know that it’s broken, but it didn’t break me.
I know where I came from. I’m the son of a single working-class mom who raised me on her own, through being broken, broken-hearted. I didn’t inherit a scene from my father, like Duncan Hunter did. And I haven’t spent the past 10 years selling my votes to the highest bidders in Washington, whether it’s big oil or big pharmaceutical companies.
CAVUTO: Well, that’s a — that’s a little extreme.
CAMPA-NAJJAR: Well, I don’t know.7
CAVUTO: But let me ask — let me ask you about this.
CAVUTO: You were recently very critical of the idea that, if you made it to Washington, you wouldn’t want Nancy Pelosi to be your leader.
CAMPA-NAJJAR: Sure. Right.
CAVUTO: I guess you meant that whether Democrats are in the minority or the majority.
CAMPA-NAJJAR: That’s right.
CAVUTO: Who would you want?
CAMPA-NAJJAR: You know, that’s a good question.
I think I really appreciate that you have the confidence that you think I’m going to be in the position to make that choice.
But let me first get elected. I would like to see another woman in that seat.
CAVUTO: Well, you were the one who stated it, that you wouldn’t support her. I didn’t.
CAMPA-NAJJAR: Yes. No, you’re right. And I’m not backpedaling on that.
I haven’t given enough thought on who would be a good replacement. I would like to see a woman in that position, because odds are we’re probably going to have another man as president in 2020. And I would like to see a balance between Congress and the presidency having men and women trying to figure out what the best way forward is for our country.
So I do think it’s time for new leadership. And for the people in my party who disagree, it’s inevitable. Whether you want it or not, nobody is in office forever.
That’s why I’m running for Congress against a dynasty that’s been there for 40 years, so…
CAVUTO: Well, let me ask you what you — you agree with a lot of what Nancy Pelosi espouses. You think the tax cuts were tilted to the rich. You would like to revisit them, so — she has said the same.
CAVUTO: So, you agree with her on a lot of policy, just not her leading things, right?
CAMPA-NAJJAR: Well, you know what.
Duncan Hunter Jr. and I actually agree that this tax plan would hurt California families. He said on San Diego airwaves that it would hurt California families. But he said, why should I let the rest of the country suffer for California’s poor decisions?
The last I checked, he was the congressman from California. So I want to put the 50th first. And I’m not really thinking about what label that falls under.
I think I want to be an independent leader who will get rid of the corruption, the greed and the chaos that’s been plaguing Washington.
Wouldn’t you agree there’s a lot of that? And without looking at labels of party, I think we need somebody who will put the people’s interests first. And I think Duncan Hunter has been too distracted.
He once did serve our country, but I think those days are gone, and he’s lost his way.
CAVUTO: The president is saying that if Democrats want to go after him and impeach him, the market is going to crash.
What do you say?
CAMPA-NAJJAR: I think what you said, I think — didn’t you call it bombastic? And you have been known to stand up to the president from time to time.
I think that’s what we need in Congress, is an independent check on the president, no matter who it is. And I don’t think that should be the threat of holding the economy hostage and saying that, if you impeach me, the economy will tank.
CAVUTO: All right.
CAMPA-NAJJAR: It’s a weapon of mass distraction. We need to focus on the people of my district, not our personal politics, Neil, but our personal health, our personal safety, and our personal financial dignity.
That’s what I care about. And the partisanship these days, it’s not for me. I’m not a fan of it.
CAVUTO: All right. We will watch your race very, very closely. Thank you, sir, very, very much.
CAMPA-NAJJAR: Thank you for having me.
CAVUTO: All right.
For more information on the Campa-Najjar campaign, visit the campaign Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CampaNajjar/