Former Congressman Darrell Issa is in a close race with Ammar Campa-Najjar, the grandson of a Palestinian terrorist responsible for the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, a new poll suggests.
A San Diego Union-Tribune/10 News poll showed Issa barely leading Campa-Najjar, 46 to 45 percent, in California’s 50th district, a traditional Republican stronghold. The poll surveyed 508 likely voters with a margin of error of 5.4 percent.
The race is Campa-Najjar’s second race. In 2018, he nearly unseated then-Rep. Duncan Hunter Jr., who was under federal indictment for corruption. But he struggled to deal with revelations about his family’s connection to Palestinian terrorism.
As Breitbart News noted at the time:
- Campa-Najjar’s grandfather, Muhammad Yousef al-Najjar (Abu Yousef), was a major Palestinian terrorist, responsible for the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. He was also a senior aide to Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leader Yasser Arafat. He was killed by Israeli commandos but continues to receive posthumous honors, like other terrorists, from the Palestinian Authority.
- Campa-Najjar denounced his grandfather in 2018. However, in 2015, he called him a “legend” in a post on Instagram. When Breitbart News drew attention to the post, Campa-Najjar deleted it, without explanation.
- Campa-Najjar changed his name legally from “Ammar Yasser Najjar” to “Ammar Joseph Campa-Najjar” after the California primary. His name had appeared on the primary ballot as “Ammar Campa-Najjar.”
- Campa-Najjar removed the surname “Najjar” from his campaign committee, as filed with the FEC.
- Campa-Najjar’s campaign donated $650 to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in 2017. As Breitbart News has noted: “In 2007-8, CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the terror financing trial of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development. That case, in turn, led the FBI to discontinue its work with the organization. In 2009, a federal judge ruled that the government “produced ample evidence to establish” the ties of CAIR with Hamas, the Palestinian terror organization. The United Arab Emirates labeled CAIR a terrorist organization in 2014 (a decision that the Obama administration opposed).”
- Campa-Najjar has received nearly $9,000 in donations from CAIR officials, which he refuses to return.
- Campa-Najjar received a $250 donation in 2017 from a Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations.
Campa-Najjar’s father, Yasser Najjar, worked as a Palestinian official for decades.
The Union-Tribune describes Campa-Najjar as a “business owner and San Diego State University lecturer.” He worked locally for the Obama campaign and later for the Obama administration in Washington, DC. He is a Christian, contrary to rumors that spread in 2018.
Issa was a veteran congressman from the 49th district who retired before the 2018 elections, as his coastal district shifted markedly to the left; his former seat is now occupied by Rep. Mike Levin (D-CA), a left-wing Democrat.
The new poll also suggested falling support for President Donald Trump in the district.
Campa-Najjar has raised over $3 million for the race, while Issa has raised close to $5 million, according to the FEC.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.