By Colby Itkowitz | November 27, 2019 at 12:00 p.m. PST
Phil Arballo, a Latino business executive seeking the Democratic nomination to unseat Nunes in California’s 22nd Congressional District, said Wednesday he saw a huge spike in donations, social media followers and general interest in his campaign since the Intelligence Committee’s high-profile impeachment hearings began.
In those two weeks, Arballo said he received $310,000, nearly doubling his year-to-date fundraising. He also said he saw a 127 percent increase in signups on his website and saw his Twitter followers surge to 150,000.
Nunes, as ranking Republican on the Intelligence Committee, became the face of Trump’s defense during the hearings.
Arballo told The Washington Post that constituents in the district see Nunes as more concerned about Trump’s well-being than their own.
“We want to show people this is who he is now,” Arballo said. “It’s not as an active representative of the 22nd, it’s as a protector of this administration, its scandals and its corruption.”
Nunes’s district leans conservative, and he won his reelections by double digits until last year, when he beat his Democratic challenger by 5.5 percentage points, giving Democrats hope that it’s a seat that could be in reach.
“If he loses it’ll be because he’s his own worst enemy,” Arballo said. “He’s using the seat as a platform, he’s using it as a vehicle to spread his propaganda. It’s not about helping people in the district anymore. I think people see right through it.”