The Democratic candidates seeking to replace former GOP Reps. Duncan Hunter (Calif.) and Chris Collins (N.Y.) are vowing to back an ethics package if elected, after the two Republicans resigned over criminal indictments.
Ammar Campa-Najjar, who is running for Hunter’s old seat, and Nate McMurray, a candidate in Collins’s district, teamed up Wednesday to pledge support for ethics legislation in the House that would require forfeiture of congressional pensions for lawmakers who are found guilty of a felony and mandate repayment of personal loans to campaigns within two years of their election.
“Nate and I are standing together today to fight back against the corruption that has harmed our districts, and demanding that Washington hold members of Congress to the most basic standards of ethical behavior,” said Campa-Najjar. “Regardless of your party, if you break the public’s trust, you should not be able to keep your pension.”
“People across our country are fed up with politicians illegally using their positions for personal gain – here in Western New York and in California, we have been deeply betrayed by our Congressmembers who prioritized their personal wealth ahead of their constituents,” added McMurray. “That’s why Ammar and I are committed to addressing corruption when elected.”
Both candidates narrowly lost their House bids in 2018 against Hunter and Collins in GOP-leaning districts. The two Democrats are running again this year in hopes they will have a better chance of victory after the two lawmakers’ resignations.
Campa-Najjar lost to Hunter by roughly 3 percentage points in 2018; Hunter won in 2016 by 27 points. McMurray fell short by less than 1 point against Collins in 2018; Collins won by 34 points in 2016.
Hunter resigned on Jan. 13 after pleading guilty to charges that he and his wife misused at least $250,000 in campaign funds for personal purposes, including trips to Europe and Hawaii, family dental work and school tuition and flying the family’s pet rabbit across the country. Collins resigned in September over a guilty plea to federal charges of insider trading.