Ammar Campa-Najjar. Campaign photo

Two Democratic challengers are outraising Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter in the increasingly competitive race to represent the 50th Congressional District in East County.

Josh Butner, a retired Navy lieutenant commander and Jamul resident, raised over $175,000 in the third quarter, and Ammar Campa-Najjar, a small business owner and former Obama administration official, racked up $170,000.

Hunter’s campaign said it raised $91,000 and acknowledged spending tens of thousands on dollars on legal fees because of an FBI investigation into possible misuse of campaign funds.

The influential Cook Political Report recently changed the ranking of the traditionally Republican district from “Solid Republican” to “Likely Republican” because of the Democratic challenge.

Both challengers emphasize their differences with President Trump, who received his first House endorsement from Hunter and carried the district in the 2016 general election.

“I’m running to fight for working families and against Citizens United. For the Medicare for All and against the worst calamities of climate change. For the Dream Act and against wars that cost young American lives,” said Campa-Najjar in a message to supporters.

“Southern California families are sick and tired of career politicians putting personal profit ahead of people,” said Butner. “In the SEAL Teams, we were taught to put country over self. As the next representative from the 50th District, I’ll pledge to do the same.”

The 50th District covers most of East San Diego County and parts of Temecula.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.