After Opponent Calls Him a “Security Threat,” Latino Arab-American Candidate Delivers Powerful Message

Lead Photo: Art by Alan López for Remezcla
Art by Alan López for Remezcla
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In less than a month, San Diego-born Ammar Campa-Najjar hopes to become the 50th District’s representative in the House. Incumbent Rep. Duncan Hunter is embroiled in an ongoing finance scandal. And as his opponent, Campa-Najjar gaines traction, Duncan has decided to take the low road. In an ad released at the end of September, Duncan calls Campa-Najjar, who is Latino and Arab-American, a “security threat.”

In the 30-second ad, Duncan accuses Campa-Najjar of “working to infiltrate the government” and says the 29-year-old politician has used three different names to hide his family’s “ties to terrorism.”

The video is meant to sow fear among voters in San Diego, and Campa-Najjar has already spoken out against it. In an interview with MSNBC, he said the video is not “based in fact at all.” He also reminded Hunter that only one of them had been cleared by the FBI. “I was cleared by the FBI to work at the White House,” said Campa Najjar, who worked with former President Barack Obama. “Duncan Hunter was indicted by the White House. That’s the contrast. One of us is a law breaker, and the other is an aspiring law maker… Three polls seem to have us at a statistical tie. I’m not a threat to national security. That ad shows I’m a threat to Duncan Hunter’s seat.”

If Campa-Najjar wins, he’ll be the first Latino Arab-American in Congress, the Associated Press reports.