GOP Rep. Hunter posts meager campaign fundraising amid controversy

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

Rep. Duncan HunterDuncan Duane HunterIndicted lawmaker angers GOP with decision to run for reelection Trump to nominate retiring lawmaker as head of trade agency Indicted GOP lawmaker to stay on ballot in New York this fall: report 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 IssaTrump to nominate retiring lawmaker as head of trade agency Overnight Energy: Watchdog to investigate EPA over Hurricane Harvey | Panel asks GAO to expand probe into sexual harassment in science | States sue over methane rules rollback Green group targets California GOP House candidates in new ads 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?”