Essential Politics November archives

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Congressional races

Rep. Darrell Issa is suing former opponent Doug Applegate over alleged defamatory campaign ads

 (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)
(J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

The race may be over between Rep. Darrell Issa and challenger Doug Applegate, but one piece of business from the campaign may linger a long time.

The day before the Nov. 8 election, Issa sued Applegate for libel, claiming that two political ads have damaged his reputation.

Issa also named Applegate’s campaign manager, Robert Dempsey, and the campaign itself in the lawsuit filed in San Diego County Superior Court. The incumbent, one of the wealthiest members in Congress, is seeking $10 million in damages and said he’ll donate any money awarded by the court to charity.

Issa had a 1,982-vote lead as of Wednesday afternoon — with 50.3% of the vote — and was declared the victor by news organizations Monday, with a small number of ballots remaining to be counted. Applegate subsequently admitted defeat but also announced he would run again in 2018.

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