Written by Lev Finzi
A group supporting Ammar Campa-Najjar, a candidate for the Mayor of Chula Vista, has been suspected of using old phone calls of former President Barack Obama which have been used to manipulate potential voters into thinking that he has been endorsed by the former President. The strange thing about the situation is that the candidate nor the independent committees propping up the candidate claim responsibility for the confusion.
Ammar Campa-Najjar is no stranger to campaigns. He ran in 2018 and 2020 for a spot in Congress but was unsuccessful in that expedition. After that, he started to tease the idea of running for State Assembly but decided that he should focus more on a Mayoral goal. He set his sights on the second-largest city in the county to run, Chula Vista.
Back in the 2018 and 2020 campaigns, Campa-Najjar had appreciated all the support that he was getting from more recognized politicians, such as the former President. He had saved those recordings from the races against Duncan Hunter in 2018 and Darrell Issa in 2020. Both campaigns had been for the spot in the 50th Congressional District in East County.
The former President has stated that he has not endorsed anyone in local elections. This leads voters to be confused about what is actually going on. Voters have been receiving the recordings, as well as a misleading mailer featuring Campa-Najjar’s cousin’s wife and their kids made to look like his wife and kids. Campa-Najjar is in a relationship with Congresswoman Sara Jacobs, and some have questioned whether he lives with her at her San Diego home. Jacobs current district includes parts of East Chula Vista, but after the recent redistricting cycle, she will no longer represent the area.
The website his team had set up also featured the same photo with the caption “Ammar and his family”. The caption was changed later to say “Ammar and his cousin Bianca and Godsons”. He had this changed once La Prensa San Diego had written about the manipulation in an article as well as the controversy that followed.
Groups and communities have pointed out Campa-Najar’s problematic ways of advertising and campaigning. They have described these campaigns as district shopping for ways to get into office.
Photo Cred: KUSI