GOP Rep. Hunter posts meager campaign fundraising amid controversy

GOP Rep. Hunter posts meager campaign fundraising amid controversy
© Greg Nash

Rep. Duncan HunterDuncan Duane HunterCook Political Report shifts 5 races after California, NJ primaries Lawmakers target ZTE, Huawei in defense bill There is no blue wave in California MORE (R-Calif.) raised only $50,000 for his reelection bid in the final quarter of 2017, all while paying six-figures on legal bills over an investigation into improper use of campaign cash.

The sum is staggeringly low for a sitting member seeking reelection and it gives Hunter $290,904 in his campaign account. That’s less than half of the money he had in the bank two years ago, before his 2016 reelection.

Hunter's campaign has spent more than $170,000 on legal bills.

He’s also been out-raised by both of his top Democratic challengers, Ammar Campa Najjar and Josh Butner. Campa Najjar’s campaign raised about $176,000 while Butner’s campaign raised $104,000.

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Hunter has been dogged by allegations that he spent campaign dollars on personal expenses, including spending on video games, clothes and air travel for his family’s rabbit. The FBI is investigating those charges, and the San Diego Union-Tribune reported in December that a grand jury is subpoenaing witnesses.

Hunter has brushed aside any speculation that he might forgo reelection despite The Hill’s reporting that retiring Rep. Darrell IssaDarrell Edward IssaThe Hill's 12:30 Report On The Money: New York AG sues to dissolve Trump Foundation | Issa tamps down rumors of consumer agency nomination | Bank regulator faces backlash over comments on racism | Cohn contradicts Trump on trade Issa tamps down rumors of consumer bureau nomination MORE (R-Calif.) may run for his seat if he decides to step down.

“If I was to blow up in the air, then he would be running for it. If I was to blow up, then he would run for the seat,” Hunter told The Hill in response to Issa's rumored interest.

“If I blow up, yes. Why wouldn’t he run for my seat if I was to blow up in the air?”