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Campa-Najjar opens Escondido offices: “I’m the only candidate who wants to represent everybody”


Democratic candidate Ammar Campa-Najjar officially opens his Escondido HQ for his 50th “Flip the 50th” campaign.

Democratic candidate for the 50th congressional district Ammar Campa-Najjar opened his Escondido HQ last week on Grand Avenue and another office on Sunset Drive in Escondido.

This week I talked to the candidate, who said he’s been wearing holes in his shoe leather going door to door, and preparing for the big debate February 7 in Valley Center’s Maxine Theater. He also discussed the most pressing issues as he moves towards the March primary election.

“I’m excited to see that all the qualified candidates will be there [at the forum],” he said. Running  a second time for the 50th District seat, after almost unseating then-incumbent Duncan Hunter Jr. in 2018, Campa-Najjar said, “I’m canvassing everywhere. Going door to door.”

He feels a lot of good will after his first run at the seat. He was pleasantly surprised recently when he was at the airport and was recognized by someone who had voted for him in 2018.

“I think we can take that good will and use it to get over the top,” he said. “That’s part of what propelled me to run again. It’s great to see that borne out not just in the polls.”

Important to know: No matter who comes in first in the March election, there will be a run-off in November between the top two vote getters. Even if one candidate wins more than 51% of the vote.

At one time there was a possibility of a special election to fill the seat until next year after incumbent Duncan Hunter Jr. announced his impending resignation, several days after pleading guilty to federal charges of misusing campaign funds.  However, Hunter delayed leaving office until January 13, which statutorily meant no special election and a vacant seat until January of 2021.

Campa-Najjar criticizes Hunter for delaying. “Lo and behold, Hunter waited because the GOP was concerned I could run away with it in a special election,” he said. “We can thank Hunter for the fact that we won’t. I’m looking forward to picking up the pieces and making sure we have a congressman who can serve the district.”

His new office on Sunset Drive was once a church. Campa-Najjar considers that appropriate. “There is a crucifix in the window,” he said. “A charming space. I consider what we are doing is a form of political ministry for those who feel left behind. We are reaching out to the district and evangelizing the message of hope. I like it. I wasn’t planning on it but it turned out to be perfect!”

Ammar Campa-Najjar cuts the ribbon for his Escondido office.

The campaign last week had a kickoff at the Sunset office followed by a Town Hall meeting.

“After three years of running I’ve honed my message,” he said. “It’s not for party elders, or outside groups. My catchphrase is ‘To listen, to learn and to lead.’ Whether the issue is the cost of living, the cost of housing, the cost of gas, mitigating wildfires, reducing congestion, protecting VA benefits and Social Security, creating economic opportunities or tax cuts for small business owners. I’ve heard this for three years and I’ve honed the message. We have a really good shot this time.”

Campa-Najjar talks a lot about restoring power to the voters and holding Washington accountable for government reform. “Me and Carl [DeMaio, a GOP candidate for the 50th] have some pretty sweeping agendas when it comes to government reform. I think mine is more bold. I go further than he In reining in dark money. I want to overturn Citizens United. People who are convicted shouldn’t have pensions. No budget no pay for Congress. My agenda goes further.”

He accuses his GOP opponents of being “in lock step with the President. I wonder if they support his tariffs?” He ticks off several other issues important to his campaign: “We need to restore war powers back to Congress. Presidents since Bill Clinton have overextended their powers to get into war. I have a holistic approach to immigration.”

Conceding that the candidates have a lot in common in their goals, he insists “I have a more comprehensive agenda. For example I want to talk about how to bring in Native Americans. I have fifteen to eighteen tribes in my district.”

Campa-Najjar emphasizes,  “I’m the only candidate who wants to represent everybody. My message is inclusive rather than one party. I put country over party. The others are talking about keeping it in a party, but sixty-five percent of the district doesn’t identify as Republican. If you look for someone who lives in the district and nearly won it two years ago, here I am. People are frustrated at politicians who look down on people, take the working class for granted and look out for the well off. We are the afterthought of the rest of San Diego County. Put this seat first, take this seat back and give it back to the people.”

2 responses to “Campa-Najjar opens Escondido offices: “I’m the only candidate who wants to represent everybody””

  1. Mike Concannon says:

    Interesting! Will you kindly identify the specific limitations and special interest groups you claim each of the other candidates limits their representation to?

  2. It is great that Mr. Campa-Najjar’s opened his office; yet, I am also amused when I see a candidate making a broad based statement that he is the “…only candidate who wants to represent everybody. My message is inclusive rather than one party.” Although the reality is that the statement misrepresents the facts.

    Prior to creating his all inclusive non-party specific message, Campa-Najjar had previous run on the Democratic ticket with Democratic messaging of party. Campa-Najjar relied upon party and financial support to open his new offices; yet, the reality is that in the last election he spent $4.8M and lost the election. Approximately 258,000 voters out of 411,000 voted. He did not win close to the majority of the voters since the majority of voters stayed away in the last election. I have never waivered about the importance of community and inclusion in our campaign. I guess Campa-Najjar “forgot” I was running and what my messaging to the communities was from the beginning of my entry into the 50th District election cycle.

    Many of you may remember my interview in early September 2019 with Alex Presha of NBC’s “Politically Speaking”. Alex took one of my favorite sayings “..that (in times of chaos and crisis) “we save ourselves by saving each other…not one of us, not anyone, has ever been saved alone.” From the beginning of my campaign I have spoken consistently about the need to stop addressing issues based upon party affiliations; as I continued to state I am tired of partisan politics. My campaign is based upon “E Pluribus Unum – Out of many we become one.”

    As a long time veteran and community advocate my track record of inclusion will speak for itself in my efforts to create change outlined at horvathcampaign.com/news. I have no limitations on my representation of the people since my candidacy is based upon no-party preference. My experience and expertise as an organizational development consultant and psychologist are provided in my campaign website. I am always open for a conversation.

    As I stated on February 14th SDAR debate – I cannot be bought. If as a voters you simply follow the money; you will find the facts about the candidates. Campa-Najjar’s statement is interesting in that representing “everyone” does not mean that he will actually do that. Why? It is expected that Congressional Representatives overall tow the party line as covered over the past 4 years of media news cycles. Ultimately, it is an error in judgement for a candidate to attempt to single themselves out as “the only one”; since the facts are that Mr. Campa-Najjar has pivoted his message later in this campaign and previously has not made these statements. He is a well funded Democrat with the support of the Democratic party. In Congress he will be required to tow the Democratic Party line. There is a price to pay; a cost trade off.

    The price is party loyalty and required participation in the Democratic machine that includes 4 hours a day of party fundraising that will generally happen during “work hours”. See gai.georgetown.edu/an-inside-look-at-congressional-fundraising/

    The question is – what is the value of loyalty to the Democratic or Republican party? Should our communities have representation is based upon actual community needs? It’s in the Congressional Job Description – represent all communities. Why do voters accept the smallest misrepresentation of the facts as an error? Why not call a spade a spade – creation of a message meant to misrepresent. Facts, honor, integrity, and truth are important to me. So, I ask – are truth, honor, and integrity important to you as a voter?

    Sincerely,
    Dr. Helen Horvath
    Candidate, 50th Congressional District
    Alpine, CA

    For more information about Dr. Helen Horvath, Candidate, 50th Congressional District, please go to horvathcampaign.com/news.

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