By: Jill Castellano
In San Diego’s most competitive races for Congress, the Democratic candidates are avoiding donations from corporations while outraising their Republican challengers.
Democrats Ammar Campa-Najjar and Mike Levin are running in two of America’s most contested House races this November in districts that include parts of San Diego County. Both Democrats have refused donations from what they refer to as “corporate PACs.”
The Republicans in these races are taking corporate money, but they are trailing in fundraising by more than $1 million each.
Campa-Najjar is competing against indicted Congressman Duncan Hunter in the 50th District, which includes eastern San Diego County and part of southwestern Riverside County. Levin faces Diane Harkey in the open 49th District, stretching from Dana Point in Orange County south to Del Mar.
Like Levin, Campa-Najjar has accepted donations from national PACs supporting Democratic House candidates, including End Citizens United and MoveOn.org, while avoiding donations from industry PACs.
About 97 percent of his money is coming from individual donors, with 32 percent from people contributing $200 or less. Duncan Hunter’s campaign is more dependent on PAC money: 55 percent of his funding has come from individuals and 7 percent from donors giving $200 or less.
No groups have supported Hunter’s campaign using independent expenditures. Campa-Najjar has gotten help from more than $100,000 in independent expenditures, including from the groups PowerPACPlus and Indivisible Project Inc.
“In these districts in San Diego where the name of the game is trying to turn the House for Democrats, it’s really in some ways an uphill battle,” Levinson said. “I think it’s all about trying to get new voters to the polls, and that costs money to try and convince people that it’s worth their time to open up that voter guide, to open up their ballot and weigh in on who’s going to represent them.”