by Photo by Sarah Berjan

Chula Vista councilmember and mayoral candidate John McCann is alleging his opponent, Ammar Campa-Najjar has committed felony voter fraud just over a month before the Nov. 8 election. 

John McCann, the Republican incumbent, who represents District 1, alleges that his opponent Ammar Campa-Najjar, a Democrat and former congressional candidate vying for the title of Chula Vista Mayor has lied to voters about where he lives. A press conference organized by the Republican Party of San Diego County was held in front of Campa-Najjar's alleged residence at the 41West Condominiums on 2604 Fifth Ave. 

“Several people in Chula Vista said he doesn't live in Chula Vista. He lives in San Diego with his billionaire heiress girlfriend,” McCann said during the news conference. “I was shocked by the amount of evidence that proves Ammar Campa-Najjar lives here in a multi-million-dollar apartment in San Diego and not in Chula Vista.” 

Professional Private Investigator and former FBI agent, Lawrence Hamilton conducted an investigation from Aug.11 through Sept. 21, and alleged the Democratic candidate had been living with his girlfriend, Congresswoman Sara Jacobs for at least 32 consecutive nights. An affidavit signed by Hamilton on Sept. 26 alleged “additional evidence indicating that the location has been his primary residence since June of 2021”.

According to Hamilton, a background investigation was conducted through database research. Although the investigation exceeded more than 30 days, Hamilton said he was able to obtain about 20 days of 24-hour surveillance. 

Campa-Najjar was allegedly seen gaining access to the condominium and driving a vehicle that is not registered to him. Hamilton did not specify or provide documentation, such as a utility bill, that would link the candidate’s name to the San Diego address. 

“You're not going to take my word for it? I’m telling you we got information that basically states we have proof he was living here and documentation from a government source,” Hamilton said.

According to the County Registrar of Voters, there are eight people registered under Campa-Najjar’s voting address, which is a two-roomed condo, but McCann said, “we could find any electricity bill, anything of a water bill, we couldn't find anything at his current address.” 

Hamilton did not clarify how many people were involved in the investigation or how the investigation was conducted. Hamilton did not say who owns the San Diego Condominium, citing privacy reasons.  

“Whether it's voter fraud, or living outside the district when he's saying he's living inside, or maybe some other information that my investigation found out that I'm not at liberty to disclose right now. There is more information that we're not going to discuss because the investigation is still ongoing. There are potentially other crimes. We have to interview people and conduct more investigations before we find out how we will proceed with this,” Hamilton said. 

McCann said he hopes San Diego County’s District Attorney formally investigates Hamilton’s findings and enforces the law. 

In response to the allegations, Ammar Campa-Najjar issued the following statement to ChulaVistaToday: 

"These claims only prove one thing: A desperate Republican attempt to try and deny the likely outcome of an election, before even a single vote is cast. We’ve seen a nationwide effort from Trump Republicans trying to delegitimize the results of free and fair elections, and in Chula Vista as in other places, those conspiracies must be condemned and not dignified. 

There’s no question Ammar Campa-Najjar, a third generation Chula Vistan and resident of the city beginning in 1993, meets the residential requirements to run for Mayor. Today he lives in the same home as he did while attending high school, community college, and working his first job at his local church. Ammar is not new to this residence, in fact he first started living in this very Eastlake home in 2003. 

So the only question is will John McCann accept the outcome of this election if the people of Chula Vista elect Ammar Campa-Najjar? Or is McCann — in presenting this claim — asserting that he will deny the will of the people if he is not elected? 

In the end, Chula Vistans will decide who the next Mayor is. We strongly encourage them to vote against McCann who has five pending investigations filed against him, and for the only ethical choice: Ammar Campa-Najjar.”

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