A letter signed by three retired Marine Corps generals warns that should 50th Congressional District candidate Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar be elected to Congress, it would put U.S. military troops at risk.
Campa-Najjar, who worked in the U.S. Labor Department under President Barack Obama, told NBC 7 the letter marked at the top with the words “Security Alert,” is a “pretty political piece of mail.”
“I think it’s clear that I’m not a security risk,” he said. “I got clearance from the FBI to work at the White House and they went through all my family connections.”
The letter is the latest piece of campaign material that calls into question Campa-Najjar’s heritage and alleged link to terrorism. A recent controversial Duncan Hunter campaign ad revealed to many that Campa-Najjar’s grandfather, now deceased, was allegedly behind the Munich Massacre.
Campa-Najjar said his grandfather was killed before he was born. He told NBC 7 in the days after the ad debuted that Hunter "knows I'm not responsible for my family's actions, just like his wife isn't responsible for his."
The letter claims Campa-Najjar’s father, a Palestinian living overseas, was heavily connected to the Palestine Liberation Organization. Campa-Najjar, raised primarily by his mother of Hispanic descent, said he and his father "Don’t have that kind of father-son connection.”
Tony Krvaric, Chairman of the San Diego County Republican Party, told NBC 7 he thinks “the average, fair-minded voter knows what's over the line.”
The party is still behind Rep. Hunter, according to Krvaric.
“We’re denouncing him as a candidate who doesn’t fit the district,” Krvaric said of Campa-Najjar. “He’s way too far left for the district.”
Campa-Najjar said that if there’s one person in the race that’s a national security risk it’s his opponent, who is under indictment facing federal charges he misused $250,000 in campaign funds.
Hunter and his wife, Margaret Hunter, have pleaded not guilty to charges in an indictment alleging they used the campaign funds to finance family trips to Italy and Hawaii, golf outings, school tuition, theater tickets and even fast food purchases.
The indictment, unsealed in August, alleges the couple attempted to conceal the illegal spending in federal records.
Krvaric argues the indictment isn’t an issue at all.
“Whatever the charges are, you’ve heard from one side that’s going to be dealt with on the other side of this election,” Krvaric said.
In a statement released to NBC 7, a spokesperson for the U.S. Marine Corps said: “The policies governing political activities by active duty members of the armed forces do not apply to retirees or former Marines. As private citizens, they have the same rights as every other citizen. The Marine Corps does not take political positions.”