An attorney who is running to unseat an incumbent California Republican congressman said members of the Democratic Party told him he was "too brown" to win Tuesday's primary.

Democrat Omar Siddiqui is seeking to unseat Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of Costa Mesa, and said officials warned him to "change [his] name" in order to have a better shot at winning.

In the California primary system, the two top vote-getters in the primary will face off in November's general election irregardless of party affiliation.

Siddiqui told Martha MacCallum that several Democratic delegates also told him he was the most qualified candidate to face Rohrabacher but that "the name Omar Siddiqui will not work in Orange County."


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"That's unacceptable to me," he said, calling on voters to "judge [him] not on the color of my skin but on the content of my character."

He said he is running an issues-based campaign and seeking out areas for door-to-door campaigning that have been overlooked by other candidates.

"I'm not going to change my name. I'm not going to drop out of the race," he said. "The Democrats are supposed to be the party of the underrepresented and the marginalized."

He said Rohrabacher, who left the Reagan White House on an ultimately successfully venture to seek a seat in Congress in 1988, is largely absent from his district.


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