Ammar Campa-Najjar's Campaign Energized After Hunter Indictment
Now that Duncan Hunter has been indicted, his Democratic challenger is speaking out.
The 47-page indictment says for years Duncan Hunter and his wife Margaret used campaign funds to bankroll a lifestyle well beyond their means. In a district that's heavily Republican, Hunter is still expected to keep his congressional seat.
But, with an indictment now in the picture, his Democratic challenger Ammar Campa-Najjar said his campaign is energized.
“I am running for everyone in this district. Not just the Resisters or the Trumpsters, but everyone. I know nothing in life is given. I didn't inherit the seat from my dad. I didn't sell my votes to the highest bidders in Washington so I could live lavishly, while the people in my district languish, " Campa-Najjar said .
The Democratic candidate said he intends to campaign as if the incumbent had no indictment at all.
Meanwhile, political scientist Carl Luna said federal charges won’t necessarily cost Hunter the election.
“It’s still very likely he will win in that district because it’s so heavily Republican, and his name will be on the ballot pretty much-barring anything come November. But, if he ends up having to leave that seat we could be facing a special election sometime in the new year," Luna said.
Despite a challenging campaign ahead, Campa-Najjar is sympathetic to Hunter's issues.
“In a way I’m a little bit saddened by it because he did serve our country, and he fought the wars we waged abroad so someone like me could even have the luxury to stand here and have a home. But somewhere along the way, I don’t think that man came back from the battlefield. I think Washington chewed him up and spit him out," Campa-Najjar said .
Luna said Campa-Najjar will still have to win the votes of die-hard Republican voters who turn the other cheek when struck by corruption in their own party.
“Both parties tend to prefer their own corruption to the other guy, thinking the other guy is evil and 'my' guy is just corrupt. That’s a really negative thing in American politics,” Luna said .
The Hunters will be in court for their arraignment Thursday morning.