Campa-Najjar, Issa canvas district ahead of election

Posted at 5:03 PM, Nov 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-02 20:31:10-05

With election day looming, the candidates vying to replace Duncan Hunter in East County's 50th Congressional District say they are leaving no stone uncovered.

The race is pitting Republican Darrell Issa against Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar. The two want to fill the seat Hunter vacated in January, when he resigned after pleading guilty to one felony campaign fraud charge.

Campa-Najjar narrowly lost to a then-indicted Hunter in 2018 and is running again in 2020.

"The whole district, we're just going to be traveling across town, meeting people at local diners and saying 'hey, I'm here for you,'" Campa-Najjar said Monday.

Issa represented coastal North County's 49th for nearly two decades. In 2018, he decided not to run for re-election as that district shifted blue. This year, however, Issa launched a campaign for the seat in the 50th after Hunter resigned. The district comprises much of East County, and stretches into south Riverside County. It is the only district in San Diego County in which Republicans outnumber Democrats.

Issa said his campaign made 10,000 calls Sunday and knocked on more than 1,500 doors. He said if he is elected to Congress, he'd use his experience to help move the country forward.

"Many of my Republican and Democratic friends are coming back after two years of very little progress and a lot of hostility," he said. "I'm hoping to get past that with people I have a working relationship with and get some things done."

After months of polling showing the two neck-and-neck, an Oct. 27 ABC-10 Union-Tribune poll showed Issa with an 11 point lead over Campa-Najjar.

Thad Kousser, a political scientist at UC San Diego, said, however, that Tuesday's early results could show Campa-Najjar starting in the lead due to increasingly Democratic early voting.

"Things are going to look good for Ammar Campa-Najjar by 8:05, 8:15, the next set of returns that come in are going to be the ones between 9 and 10:30 that will come from polling places," he said. noting that could be as much as a 10 or 15 point swing for Issa, until the rest of the balance come in.