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Tuesday June 5, 2018 — California Primary Election
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United States

U.S. House of RepresentativesCandidate for District 50

Photo of Ammar Campa-Najjar

Ammar Campa-Najjar

Local Business Owner
25,799 votes (17.6%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Put America Back to work by expanding apprenticeship job training programs
  • Ensure healthcare as a human right and work towards universal healthcare
  • Defend the American Dream by passing comprehensive immigration reform



Profession:Local Business Owner
Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Department of Labor — Appointed position (2016–2016)


San Diego State University Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Dual Degree: Philosophy & Psychology Minor: Political Science (2012)


Born in East San Diego County, Ammar is a former federal official who has devoted his life to service.​​​ From his first job in church ministry to working for a presidential campaign; from serving in the White House to advocating for small businesses; from fighting for the American worker to running for Congress; Ammar has always answered the call to serve the public good.

The son of a Mexican American mother and a Middle Eastern immigrant father, Ammar was raised in San Diego until the family moved to Gaza for four years. When war broke out and it became unsafe to remain, Ammar, his mother and brother returned to San Diego. The family struggled, and Ammar sought work as a janitor in a church, where he later became a youth leader. He attended community college and graduated from San Diego State University, after taking time off to help reelect the president.

In 2012, Ammar served as Deputy Regional Field Director for President Obama's reelection campaign, where he helped oversee Southern California’s grassroots operations from a headquarters in San Diego. Ammar worked alongside thousands of people, who in the spirit of public service, volunteered their labor and love in advocacy of a common cause.

He then worked at the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) as Communications and Marketing Director, promoting the economic growth of more than 4 million Hispanic-owned small businesses. While serving at the USHCC, Ammar supported efforts to help small businesses secure federal contracts as well as procurement opportunities with larger companies seeking to diversify their supply chains with minority-owned firms who reflect the communities they serve.

At the U.S. Department of Labor, Ammar led the Office of Public Affairs for the Employment and Training Administration (ETA). In this role, Ammar was instrumental in promoting a nationwide effort to double and diversify the number of Registered Apprenticeships in America, an "an earn while you learn job" that pays workers an average of $60,000 a year. Ammar also supported: the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program (TAA) in helping American workers who were laid off due to unfair trade deals; expanding aid for farm workers; launching youth summer jobs programs; advancing veteran employment opportunities; providing vocational training and rehabilitation services to those in the criminal justice system; improving reemployment services; and cracking down on unemployment fraud.

Ammar’s exposure to the economic needs of both businesses and workers informs his policy views and makes job creation and economic growth among his top policy priorities.

He is a staunch advocate for unions, for federal investment in apprenticeship jobs and for programs for small businesses owned by minorities, women, immigrants and veterans. Ammar’s experience in Gaza, where he witnessed war and poverty, emboldened him to become a strong supporter of peace and economic justice. His platform also includes Medicare for All, passing a clean Dream Act, investing in renewable energy, and overturning Citizens United.

Questions & Answers

Questions from KPBS and the League of Women Voters (San Diego and North County San Diego chapters) (6)

Family reunification is a process that allows immigrants already residing in the U.S. to bring in additional family members. Do you support limiting this process? Why or why not?
Answer from Ammar Campa-Najjar:

America's oldest tradition has been to welcome people from all walks of life to contribute fully and fairly to our nation's economy and way of life. As a nation that is built on the principles of equal opportunity, compassion, and strong family values, it would be counter to our country's character to divide any family that calls America home.

We are a nation of immigrants and laws, that is why I believe Congress must pass comprehensive immigration reform that creates a pathway to earned citizenship for Dreamers, encourages and eases legal immigration, and gives undocumented residents the protections they need to report dangerous criminals, domestic abusers, and other threats to our society without fear of deportation

Do you support expanding the current border wall between U.S. and Mexico? Why or why not?
Answer from Ammar Campa-Najjar:

San Diego already has a wall, and that has reduced apprehensions and crossing by 95%. Spending an additional $35 Billion of taxpayer money on something San Diego Residents already have is fiscally irresponsible. Not only is it irresponsible it takes away critical domestic funding from services such as education, healthcare, and public safety.

During my multiple inspections of the border, the border patrol has asked me for updated equipment and technology like sensors that cost less and prove more effective. Beyond the security benefits, modernizing our border would also expideite commerce with California's number one export market, Mexico, which purchased $5.5 billion in U.S. goods last year according to the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Do you support creating additional regulations on gun ownership? Why or why not?
Answer from Ammar Campa-Najjar:

First and foremost, we should lift the NRA's ban on the CDC to conduct gun violence research.

Beyond that, I believe that we should implement the same protocol the military has successfully implemented when it comes to firearm safety.

  • Universal background checks
  • Required training for gun owners
  • Mental health screening and bans on gun ownership for domestic abusers and individuals on the terrorist watch list

Lastly, if the military has decided to ban the use of carrying private firearms on a military base, then it conversely stands to reason that we should ban military style weapons in civilian life. As Americans we have all agreed that banning civilian access to tanks and rocket launchers is not an assault on our Second Amendment rights. I believe that we can protect our rights while banning other weapons of war.

Should the U.S. remain in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)? Why or why not?
Answer from Ammar Campa-Najjar:

When I worked at the U.S. Department of Labor, I saw funding for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) increase exponentially as American workers were being displaced due to unfair trade. That is why I believe that we must improve NAFTA while preserving our critical commercial ties with our allies around the world and ensure that we have a more equitable relationship with our partners, which means addressing our current trade deficits with those nations.

Do you support raising the federal gas tax to improve the national transportation infrastructure (for example roads, train tracks, and bridges)? Why or why not?
Answer from Ammar Campa-Najjar:

I do not support a regressive tax, such as a gas tax, that passes the cost onto the consumer. The way I would fund infrastructure projects would be to simply end the most costly welfare program in America that has burdened taxpayers for decades: Corporate subsidies to the oil and gas industry. It's time that we de-burden the middle class by asking the wealthiest among us to also pay their fair share to the very country that made their success possible.

What programs or legislation, if any, would you support to help Americans of all ages secure affordable health care?
Answer from Ammar Campa-Najjar:

Congress must fix the ACA, but even with fixes, the only real solution is Medicare for all. Medicare for all can be funded by billionaires paying their fair share, and by ensuring that we allocate the resources to fulfill our commitment to the American taxpayer.

Here's how we can fix the ACA: 

  • (1) Lower the cost of prescription drugs by having Medicare negotiate prices.
  • (2) Provide a public option to compete with the private sector based on who provides lower costs and higher quality service.
  • (3) As a short-term solution, allow individuals ages 50-64 years old to buy into medicare.
  • (4) Descheduling cannabis and funding research to examine it as an alternative to often fatal prescription drugs such as opioids, depressants, and amphetamines. Medical cannabis has shown to help wounded warriors, cancer patients, and nonetheless help heal the human brain after years of opioid abuse.

Who gave money to this candidate?


Total money raised: $4,107,875

Top contributors that gave money to support the candidate, by organization:

Employees of University of California, San Diego
Employees of Qualcomm
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
San Diego County Democratic Party
United Association (UA)

More information about contributions

By State:

California 63.75%
District of Columbia 5.71%
New York 5.54%
Arizona 4.03%
Other 20.98%

By Size:

Large contributions (61.42%)
Small contributions (38.58%)

By Type:

From organizations (8.66%)
From individuals (91.34%)
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the Federal Election Commission.

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