Thursday, October 24, 2019

Young Latino Arab Announces His Congressional Bid

Ammar Campa-Najjar, 28, announced his 2018 congressional bid on Thursday, setting his sights on unseating a long-term Republican representative in California’s District 50. Campa-Najjar is the fifth Democrat to throw his hat in the ring, and hopes to use his experience as a community organizer during Former President Barack Obama’s second presidential campaign will give him an advantage.

“My district voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump in the election, mainly because of the main issues people cared about: jobs and the economy,” said Campa-Najjar. “Those are unifying issues, and my district and our country need a voice of unity. These voters don’t care if it comes from a Republican and Democrat.”

Campa-Najjar, Mexican American and Palestinian American, says he has spent a lot of his time speaking to Hispanic voters in his district, to get them to the polls. During his time with the Obama administration, Campa-Najjar was a Public Affairs Officer at the Department of Labor; he was also a Director of Communications for the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

“A lot of those folks who think of my family and me differently, they would understand where I am coming from,” Campa-Najjar explained. “We are in a very challenging time for our country, and I go about it by talking about my experience, the fear of terrorism and those people trying to impose the American nightmare on all of us. It is not a popular position, but I would lead with the truth, and that our differences do not outweigh our common humanity.”

As an Arab American, Campa-Najjar has experienced firsthand the stereotyping and discrimination of Arab Americans after the 9/11 attacks and hopes to use his experience “to win some hearts and minds.” Running on a pro-job growth platform, he has raised about $20,000 for his campaign.

NBC News