Issa and Challenger Tie Each Other to National Leaders

Applegate ties Issa to Trump and Issa ties Applegate to Pelosi in surprisingly close race

Incumbent Republican Rep. Darrell Issa is facing the strongest challenge in his time in office. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Both Rep. Darrell Issa and his Democratic opponent are tying each other to their party’s leaders in ad wars in the surprisingly contested race in California’s 49th Congressional District.

Issa, an eight-term Republican congressman, released an ad last week that said Democratic challenger Doug Applegate “passed the Nancy Pelosi litmus test” for supporting liberal policies like a carbon tax, before ultimately declaring, “We can’t afford him.”


Issa released another ad highlighting his constituent work, especially with veterans, a direct appeal to the veteran and military community in the district, where the largest employer is Camp Pendleton.

[Challenger's Poll Shows Close Race Against Issa in California]

Conversely, Applegate released an ad tying Issa to Donald Trump, saying that the incumbent “gamed the system to line his own pockets.”


Issa faces a surprisingly tough re-election campaign after Applegate came within less than 8,900 votes of the congressman in the state’s open primary in June where the top two winners, regardless of party, move on to the general election.

Applegate has also received support from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which added his campaign to its "Red to Blue" program. 

The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call recently changed the race rating from Safe Republican to Republican Favored.

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