SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - With less than a month until the midterm elections, the campaign to win California’s 50th district congressional seat is fierce.
Team 10 Investigative Reporter Jennifer Kastner has been fact-checking the campaign ads released by republican incumbent Duncan Hunter and democratic challenger Ammar Campa-Najjar.
Kastner had a sit-down interview with Campa-Najjar Tuesday before his new campaign ad was officially released.
Team 10 asked Campa-Najjar if his new ad planned to defend the accusations brought against him from Representative Hunter in Hunter’s most recent campaign ad that was released almost two weeks ago.
“The good news is that all of you [media] are doing the defending because [his ad’s] not factual,” Campa-Najjar told Team 10. Campa-Najjar has also called Hunter’s ad un-American and racist.
Hunter’s ad claims, “Ammar Campa-Najjar is working to infiltrate Congress." The explosive video garnered a firestorm of attention, centering much around the Latino Arab-American’s family ties to terrorism.
It is a fact that Campa-Najjar’s grandfather was involved in the Munich Olympic Massacre, but Campa-Najjar renounced his grandfather, who died years before he was born.
Hunter’s ad also implies that Campa-Najjar is a security risk, however Campa-Najjar passed multiple security clearances as a former official in the Obama Administration.
“We've raised money off of [Hunter’s] ad,” Campa-Najjar told Team 10. He said the ad has backfired on Hunter, fueling contributions to Campa-Najjar’s campaign from voters who, he said, are disgusted. The Federal Election Commission shows that more than a million dollars have rolled in for Campa-Najjar, ahead of Hunter's nearly $900,000, but those numbers are from June. New numbers should be released in the upcoming days with a reporting deadline of next Monday, October 15th.
“I think this [next] report will probably show another million, at least,” added Campa-Najjar. Campa-Najjar's new ad focuses largely on the Hunters’ federal indictment for allegedly misusing campaign money.
The ad claims that Hunter blamed his wife. It is a fact that Hunter appeared on Fox News Network and said in part, “She was also the campaign manager. Whatever she did…that'll be looked at, too, I'm sure, but I didn't do it."
The new ad also claims, "The San Diego Union Tribune calls Hunter's corruption ‘pathetic’ and false attacks on Ammar Campa-Najjar ‘despicable’." It is a fact that the UT’s opinion-based Editorial Board wrote the statements, but that's not to be confused with the reporting side of the paper. Which candidate is now in the lead?
According to poll aggregate website Project FiveThirtyEight, in the six polls conducted since the June primary, Duncan Hunter is still up by more than 8 points, but the gap is tightening. 10News called and emailed Duncan Hunter’s campaign to ask for an interview about the most recent ads. We have not received a response.