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2018 electionCongressional races

Court orders Rep. Darrell Issa to pay opponent Doug Applegate $45,000 after failed defamation lawsuit

 (Hayne Palmour IV / San Diego Union-Tribune)
(Hayne Palmour IV / San Diego Union-Tribune)

A judge has ordered Rep. Darrell Issa to pay his opponent from last year’s election more than $45,000 in legal expenses incurred during a defamation lawsuit.

In November, Issa, a Vista Republican, sued Democrat Doug Applegate over attack ads the congressman said hurt his reputation. In March, a judge said Issa didn’t prove his case and sided with Applegate, who argued that he was exercising his free speech rights with the television commercials, and that Issa’s lawsuit was an attempt to silence criticism.

Now the judge has ordered Issa to reimburse Applegate, his campaign, and campaign manager Robert Dempsey for the legal costs of defending themselves against the suit.

Issa’s office referred questions to his attorney, who did not respond to a request for comment. Applegate is running against Issa again in 2018. His campaign manager also did not respond to requests for comment.

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