Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Justice

Issa, Campa-Najjar Neck And Neck For 50th Congressional Seat

Cover image for podcast episode

Republican Darrell Issa and Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar are vying for California's 50th Congressional District seat, which currently has no representation on Capitol Hill.

Speaker 1: 00:00 One of the most closely watched and most expensive congressional races in the country is in San Diego's 50th district. The seat once held by convicted Congressman Duncan, Hunter is being fought over by Republican Darryl ISAT and Democrat Amar camp in a jar. The tally now stands at 52% for Eissa almost 48% for camping, a jar with 78% of the vote counted. A winner has not been officially called in this race. Journey me with more on the 50th district races, KPBS reporter, Matt Hoffman, and Matt. Welcome Maureen. Now Kevin ajar has been campaigning in this district for almost four years. Can you tell us about his effort?

Speaker 2: 00:40 You know, Maureen, he jokingly says that a lot that he's been campaigning in this district that's heavily Republican for four years, just for a two year term, uh, really trying to flip the district blue. Obviously it appears that that's not going to be happening this year. Um, we know that he did run in 2018, got 48% of the vote. He's been doing this for awhile. He did address supporters last night, basically saying, look, you know, no matter what happens, they feel like that they've made an impact on the district. I know it's been a tough race with fits and starts and trials and tribulations and triumphs and defeats. You know, we've gone through primaries together. We've gone through general is now a second general election together. And I really do believe we have changed the culture of this district forever. And we actually have an updated statement from campus as our posting I'm on social media this morning saying that they're still looking at the returns with a measure of hope and urging every vote to be counted. So, Maureen, it sounds like he's not ready to concede any time soon.

Speaker 1: 01:34 What kind of an advantage did being a Republican give Daryl Eissa in this district?

Speaker 2: 01:40 I mean, I think talking to Isiah, he certainly thinks that that gave him a big experience, a big advantage in this, you know, he often touts his experience, um, as a proven conservative someone who can work with Democrats, but won't compromise his Republican values. I'm gonna keep in mind too. There is a registration advantage in the district. Uh, there's about 40% of registered Republicans and about 30% registered Democrats. Um, and you know, we talk about, uh, Duncan Hunter being a damaged candidate. I think Eissa came in there and, you know, thought that this was his race to win. So to speak

Speaker 1: 02:09 [inaudible] is currently in the lead by nearly 12,000 votes. So what are analysts saying about whether or not Kevin ajar can overcome ISIS?

Speaker 2: 02:19 Yeah, so talking with some of like political scientists, um, sort of what panned out last night is what they were predicting, um, Amar or in the lead with some of the early returns, which we saw. And then, you know, as they predicted a sort of a red wave on, on election day of Republican voters voting in person, uh, we saw that lead start to dwindle and then we saw Eissa, uh, come on top. And now that lead is continuing to grow. Um, so I think, you know, th th they think that lead's going to continue to grow. I think the Isla camp thinks the same thing. And, uh, at this point, you know, it's just a small percentage of votes left. Only time will tell if he's able to overcome, uh, the ISOL lead right now

Speaker 1: 02:51 And the next numbers, the next vote count doesn't come out from the registrar's office until tomorrow. So we will have to wait for a little has Daryl Eissa, uh, addressed supporters or made a statement about the vote?

Speaker 2: 03:04 Yeah, so I said, it's immediate last night, and this morning on K USI was very happy at this great, uh, to be honest, I'm planning a return to Congress. Um, and, uh, we know that he was saying, Hey, look, you know, if I'm going to win this, I need people to turn out on election day. Um, and it appears that happened. Uh, he did mention during the interview that he talked to a Mark camp at ajar, uh, but didn't mention anything about him conceding, the, no,

Speaker 1: 03:26 Matt you've been covering this race for some time. What were some of the crucial events that took place in European?

Speaker 2: 03:33 Uh, I I'd say some of the crucial events. I mean, just in general, I mean, if you talk about money and you talk about ad buys, I don't know if an ad buys a crucial event, but, um, you know, we saw the Eissa campaign really hammering as a lot of negative ads to be franked out, down the stretch. I suspending a lot of his own money. He mentioned in one interview that he was spending a hundred thousand dollars a day. Um, and then we saw, you know, maybe a turning point for camp in a jar that he sort of touched on last night. Uh, he did an interview with a very far right group that has since been removed from Facebook called defenders County, uh, that drew a lot of criticism from Democrats, even the, the County chair who says he looked, some of them are his views in terms of, he doesn't know, he's going to vote for, for president are not in line with the County party. I'm an Amar last night, you know, made some comments in his speech to support her saying, I know some of you maybe at points question, you know, who I was or some of what I thought. So, um, you know, it's really unclear. We may never know if that impacted this race, but, uh, you gotta wonder, um, if Amar, during that interview had anything to do with him.

Speaker 1: 04:27 And once again, Darryl ISA is in the lead right now in the race for the 50th congressional district. A winner has not been officially called in this race and I win thank KPBS reporter Matt Hoffman. Thank you so much for speaking with us. Thanks, Maureen.

KPBS Midday Edition Segments podcast branding

KPBS Midday Edition Segments

Maureen Cavanaugh and Jade Hindmon host KPBS Midday Edition, a daily radio news magazine keeping San Diego in the know on everything from politics to the arts.