By Ken Stone
Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar has filed paperwork to make another run for Congress, telling his nearly 29,000 Twitter followers: “I’m ready to pour my heart & soul into this race, community organize, listen, learn, and become the representative #CA50 deserves.”
In November, he was defeated by five-term incumbent Rep. Duncan D. Hunter, who with his wife faces a September trial date in his campaign finance corruption case.
“Thank you to the 125,000 (48.3%) of you who voted for me to be your congressman,” Campa-Najjar said after Rob Pyers posted news of the Federal Election Commission filing Dec. 31.
Pyers is research director for the nonpartisan California Target Book, a subscription service of political information.
Campa-Najjar’s “statement of candidacy” lists a Jamul address for his campaign committee.
According to opensecrets.org, Campa-Najjar raised $4 million and spent all but $15,687.
Republican Hunter raised $1.17 million, spent $1.69 million but had $200,626 left in the bank at the end of the campaign, the site said. The FEC says Hunter’s committee has debts totaling $95,000, however.
Campa-Najjar’s repeat run wasn’t a surprise.
In a tweet quoting a column he wrote for The San Diego Union-Tribune, the former Obama administration aide said: “After running for two long years in a district President Donald Trump won by 15 points, my first election ended with a loss to Duncan D. Hunter, who won by 28 percent in 2016… Maybe next time.”
“The final count — 48.3 percent versus 51.7 percent. After running for two long years in a district President Donald Trump won by 15 points, my first election ended with a loss to Duncan D. Hunter, who won by 28 percent in 2016… Maybe next time.”https://t.co/bRGsY7YBAJ
— Ammar Campa-Najjar (@ACampaNajjar) December 6, 2018
In a tweet about noon Wednesday, Campa-Najjar said he would make an official announcement soon, but “I’m excited to run again.”
A spokesman for Hunter didn’t comment on Campa-Najjar’s decision or that of Temecula Mayor Matt Rahn, a Republican who earlier said he would run for the 50th Congressional District seat.
But Thursday morning, Hunter spokesman Michael Harrison said via email: “Congressman Hunter is swearing in today to begin his 6th term and there is a full list of important priorities and issues on which constituents expect him to lead and advocate for them. This is where is focus is right now, doing the job he was re-elected to do.”
Rahn told Fallbrook-based Valley News that he anticipated more than a few candidates would emerge for Hunter’s seat.
“A lot of it speculation and rumor at this point,” Rahn said, “but there’s a lot of interest in (the seat). I want to make sure that whoever represents the district has the district’s best interest in mind, has the experience working in that district and really understands what is consequential to people living there.”
Updated at 9:45 a.m. Jan. 3, 2019.
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