Ammar Campa-Najjar speaks to the media outside the federal courthouse after Duncan Hunter’s arraignment in August. Photo by Chris Stone

A day after San Diego County Republicans failed to endorse a candidate in the 50th Congressional District, Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar reported raising over $580,000 in the third quarter.

The campaign reported $850,000 cash on hand and a total of over $1.3 million raised in this cycle and said it had its strongest quarter to date.

Campa-Najjar was narrowly defeated in 2018 by incumbent Rep. Duncan Hunter, who is under indictment for alleged campaign finance fraud and will face trial early next year. Three well-known Republicans, former Rep. Darrell Issa, state Sen. Brian Jones and former City Councilman Carl DeMaio, are now challenging Hunter.

“Right now, we have a Congressman facing criminal trial who is completely unfit to serve, so a bunch of other politicians — including those who don’t even live here — see an opportunity to advance their own careers,” said Campa-Najjar.

“The huge amount of grassroots support we’re getting in this race is evidence that voters here are ready for something different — a Congressman who was born and raised in East County, who actually understands their lives and will honorably represent them in Washington,” he added.

Issa and DeMaio live outside the sprawling district in East County, but members of Congress do not have to live in the districts they serve.

DeMaio, who has worked as a radio talk show host in recent years, has also reported significant fundraising — as much as $1.3 million to date.

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Chris Jennewein

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