Those ads center around the fact the candidate's grandfather was a Palestinian Liberation Organization militant who was killed during the 1972 Munich Massacre. Rep. Hunter points to this relationship as the basis for his anti-Muslim attacks.
“His grandfather was the mastermind and perpetrator of the 1972 Munich attacks against the Olympics Israeli athletes,” Hunter said in December. “That was his grandfather.”
Campa-Najjar is frank that one side of his family does have ties to terror.
“I don’t know that grandfather, he died 15 years before I was born,” Campa-Najjar said. “I don’t know them. I know my mom. I know how hard she worked. I know what she sacrificed. And I know that if Hunter is focusing on this, he’s in a lot of trouble.”
“They have to go back three decades to drag up something I have nothing to do with to find questions about whether voters can trust me,” Campa-Najjar added. “I only have to go back three weeks to find questions of whether voters should trust Duncan Hunter.”
Regardless of Election, Duncan Hunter Faces Uncertain Future
The 50th Congressional District is a unique district in that its boundaries contain both some of the wealthiest and poorest neighborhoods in San Diego County.
There are dense urban cores in the district, as well as remote urban outposts high in the mountains. A five-minute drive can separate million-dollar tract houses from RV parks with rundown trailer homes.
While serious issues face the district, the race has largely become a referendum on Hunter after his federal indictment this past summer for misusing campaign funds.
Shortly after federal officers charged Hunter, he took to Fox News where he appeared to blame his wife for any wrongdoing. The indictment also contained unsavory details that Hunter misspent funds for shorts and claimed they were for the Wounded Warriors non-profit. The indictment also contains allegations that Hunter used campaign money to pay for everything from lavish vacations to fast-food trips.
Hunter is a former Marine and father of three who served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He inherited the seat from his father, also named Duncan Hunter, who resigned in 2008 for a short-lived presidential run.
In his last election, the younger Hunter won the seat by 27 percentage points. Yet, after the criminal indictment — and his response on Fox News — Hunter has seen his polling plummet, resulting in a toss-up race.
As the political reality sets in that Hunter could potentially lose his seat, he has turned to conspiracy theories to explain his current problems. His opponent is part of a “Muslim infiltration.” His own legal trouble started when he was targeted by the “[Former U.S. Attorney General] Loretta Lynch and Obama.”
“There is a deep state,” Hunter said last month in Ramona. “The Justice Department is corrupt. And that should scare you out of your minds. Because the only oversight they have on them, is them.”
That message might resonate with voters in this staunchly conservative area, and there’s a reasonable chance Hunter will win re-election. Yet, less than a month after Election Day, on Dec. 3, Hunter is scheduled for another hearing in the criminal case against him.
“Whatever happens, I go on with my life,” Campa-Najjar said. “But Hunter, he goes on to court.”