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Issa-Applegate race: Negative campaign getting national attention

Posted at 5:08 PM, Nov 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-07 20:36:53-05

SAN DIEGO - The race for California's 49th Congressional District is tight and negative, and it is drawing attention from people far outside the district.

Incumbent Rep. Darrell Issa and challenger Col. Doug Applegate have thrown haymakers at each other since the June primary. Their television campaign advertisements have run negative with the one candidate pointing out the other's flaws.

On Monday, Applegate, a Democrat, made an appearance at UC San Diego with U.S. Senate candidate Kamala Harris.

Applegate said he is "unbelievably busy" the day before the election, and he told 10News it is no surprise their race has caught the attention outside the district from San Diego to Washington, D.C.

"Well, there's no doubt that Darrell's negatives go well beyond the 49th," said Applegate.

The Republican Issa blamed the president.

"This race is basically President Obama's revenge race," said Issa, after he spoke with people eating at The Potato Shack in Encinitas.

Issa said the Obama didn't like his work to uncover scandals while he sat on the House Oversight Committee.

"I think the voters have seen through it. I'm optimistic that they appreciate what I do and want me back," Issa said.

"I think it's more an interest of someone who has constantly put party and division and gridlock ahead of the best interest of the country," countered Applegate.

Applegate's ads have repeatedly reminded voters that Issa endorsed GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.

"Donald Trump was not my first choice; Marco Rubio was," admitted Issa. "I campaigned passionately for [Rubio]. I wish he had been the nominee."

Issa said he only endorsed Trump because he was the Republican Party's candidate.

"But that doesn't change the fact that I disagree with our nominee on major points including trade, defense, and obviously, I believe we can accomplish real immigration reform if we work together," countered Issa.