Indicted congressman seeks GOP nod for another term

October 14, 2019 - 7:18 pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Indicted U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter is scheduled to appear Monday at a Republican forum in San Diego to seek the endorsement of the local GOP for another term.

To get it, the Southern California congressman will need to overcome challenges from several rival Republicans, including former Rep. Darrell Issa and radio personality Carl DeMaio.

The 42-year-old lawmaker is charged with using campaign funds for personal expenses, ranging from groceries and bar tabs to family vacations.

Hunter has pleaded not guilty. His trial is scheduled to begin in January.

Hunter, who has largely avoided media attention since his indictment, calls the charges politically motivated and has said he's determined to keep the seat once held by his father.

Republicans have a voter registration advantage in the 50th District, which covers east San Diego County and a small part of southern Riverside County.

The district represents something of a Republican outpost in a state where Democrats dominate statewide politics. Democrats ousted a string of Republican congressmen in California in 2018, including several in neighboring Orange County.

Hunter narrowly survived a 2018 challenge, when Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar came within 3.4 percentage points of winning the seat in his first run for Congress.