REGION — In what has been one of the most sharply divided partisan election cycles in recent history, Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar received a rare, across-the-aisle endorsement from The Republican Women for Progress PAC in his bid for California’s 50th Congressional District.
Campa-Najjar, a 29-year-old former Obama administration staffer and East County native, hopes to oust five-term incumbent Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine). Hunter, 41, and his wife were indicted this August for alleged campaign-finance violations.
The Republican Women for Progress PAC released an online ad on Oct. 25 that criticized Hunter and endorsed Campa-Najjar.
In a statement to The Coast News, the organization wrote, “Duncan Hunter is one of the founding members of the ‘Trump Caucus’ in Congress, making him one of Donald Trump’s leading rubber-stamping enablers in the House. In addition, the allegations against Hunter for campaign finance violations show a brazen disregard for long-standing campaign finance rules and a complete absence of the type of sound personal ethics expected of public servants.”
The PAC said of Hunter’s challenger, “Ammar Campa-Najjar is someone we believe will live up to his campaign slogan of ‘country over party.’ His record demonstrates he is an individual of good character who can provide moral leadership needed at this moment and that he is willing to work in a bipartisan way to lead our country in the right direction.”
Although the 50th District has historically been a Republican stronghold, two polls have shown Campa-Najjar trailing Hunter by only 1 and 2 percentage points. Results from another poll, conducted by Monmouth University Polling Institute, found Hunter leading by 8 percent, with 10 percent of those polled being undecided.
The Republican Women for Progress PAC launched in late September, announcing that its main goal was “returning the Republican Party to its traditional platform of limited government, fiscal restraint, global American leadership, and ending the party’s current Trump personality cult.”
Co-founded by Jennifer Pierotti Lim and Meghan Milloy, the PAC strives to support candidates in the midterms who will “act as a check on President Trump,” regardless of whether those candidates are Republicans or Democrats. It has raised $1 million, with $400,000 of it coming from LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman.
In California, the PAC is also backing California Democrats Katie Hill for the 25th Congressional District and Harley Rouda for the 48th District by running ads on digital platforms on their behalf. The PAC’s election efforts extend into other states, including New Jersey and Michigan.
Pierotti Lim and Milloy were also the founder and chair, respectively, of the Republican Women for Hillary campaign in 2016. Campa-Najjar could not be reached for comment.