Setting the Record Straight

Setting the Record Straight

In the final days of the primary election, our opponents are seeing that Sara has the momentum in this race - so they’re doing what politicians do: launching false attacks. We remain committed to running a positive campaign on the issues because we believe that’s how Democrats will win back this seat - not by attacking each other.  

But it’s important to set the record straight, and because we believe in transparency and honesty, we wanted to make sure that we address any concerns that these negative attacks have brought up. 

Attack: Sara Didn’t Work at the State Department.


Sara served as a Conflict and Stabilization Policy Officer in the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations at the State Department under President Obama. She reported directly to State Department officials and worked on initiatives countering and preventing violent extremism, and doing analysis, research and policy advising on the U.S. approach to Boko Haram, and instability in East Africa.

Sara’s work at the State Department is why she was hired as a foreign policy advisor on the Clinton campaign. 

Here’s is what Jake Sullivan, a senior State Department official and Policy Director for Hillary for America, said about this line of attack on Sara: 

“Sara Jacobs was a policy advisor and colleague of mine on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, where I served as the Senior Policy Adviser. Some of her opponents are suggesting that Sara has inflated her work experience while campaigning for Congress. That simply isn’t true; I hired Sara Jacobs to advise the Clinton campaign on foreign policy matters in 2015 because of her previous experience and proven skills in policy-making. In 2014 and 2015, Sara worked at the State Department in the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations. She helped shape policy. She helped formulate the US government response to crises.

Bottom line: This is an absurd line of criticism. Attacks like this only further highlight why we need people in Congress, like Sara, who actually understand how the federal government works.

I hope those who read these attacks will also take a look at Sara Jacobs’ campaign website, read her positions on a range of policy issues, or consider her comments on the issues via social media. Ask her about any policy issue, no matter how obscure. I have. And I've never been disappointed with the thoroughness of her answer or her passion for the well-being of people affected by the policies she’s worked on.”

Here is what Cindy Huang, Sara’s direct supervisor at the State Department, had to say: 

"I had the privilege of being Sara’s direct supervisor at the State Department.

The Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations was responsible for analysis and planning to prevent and respond to conflict in other countries. Needless to say, it was important work that took a team of incredibly talented individuals. I proudly count Sara as one of those individuals.

Sara worked by my side at the State Department, advised our team on policy, and did a great job. Any suggestion otherwise is inaccurate, false, and completely silly. Third party contractors fulfill important functions in the federal government, and our bureau and the State Department were not unique in acquiring talent in this way.

The analysis and advice that she provided was a direct input into the policymaking process.  I would describe her job in a similar way as I describe my own. Sara worked at the State Department. She drafted policy analysis and recommendations that were taken seriously, and in some cases, briefed at the highest levels of the State Department. I am not certain that a male candidate’s experience would be dissected and questioned in the same way."

Two of Sara’s former bosses released this ad discussing their work with Sara at the State Department:

Attack: Sara doesn’t live in the District.


Sara was born and raised in Del Mar, and has always been proud to call Southern California her home. Sara is a proud graduate of Torrey Pines High School (Go Falcons!). After graduating from high school, Sara earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Columbia University, before working at the State Department, UNICEF, and as the CEO of an international education non-profit. 

Sara is proud that she’s been able to take the opportunities she’s been given and work to make things better for people around the world. And now she’s proud to take that experience and what she’s learned to serve the people of the 49th district. 

Attack: Sara’s Campaign is funded by corporate money.


Sara has pledged not to accept corporate PAC money and has kept that promise. She strongly supports overturning Citizens United (the disastrous court decision that opened the door to corporate spending on campaigns) and would fight in Congress to get corporate money out of our politics once and for all.

From day one, Sara has said this campaign would be funded through a combination of grassroots contributions and through her own personal contributions. That’s what she’s done.

Sara knows that she has been very fortunate, and has had access to opportunities in her life that aren’t available to everyone. As someone who has benefited from an unfair system, she believes it’s her responsibility to use those advantages to help make the system fairer, so that everyone has access to opportunities, regardless of where they grew up, what they look like, or who they love.

Sara is also proud to be supported by EMILY’s List, an organization dedicated to electing pro-choice Democratic women. Some of our opponents have suggested that being supported by EMILY’s List is the same as being supported by shady “special interests” like the Koch brothers. 

Anyone suggesting that an organization dedicated to ensuring that women’s voices are represented is the same as a shady “special interest” highlights exactly why we need organizations like EMILY’s List, and why we’ll never make progress until we change the face of Congress.