California secretary of State: GOP lawmaker can’t be removed from ballot after getting indicted

Greg Nash

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) will remain on the ballot in California’s 50th Congressional District in November, despite being charged Tuesday with misusing at least $250,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses.

“There exists no process in California Elections Code for Duncan Hunter to remove his name from the November ballot,” Sam Mahood, a spokesman for California’s secretary of state, told The Hill in a statement.

Mahood noted that Hunter was one of the top two vote-getters in the district’s June primary. He added that there can be no write-in candidates for the November election.


The Department of Justice alleged in an indictment Tuesday that Hunter used campaign funds to purchase trips to Italy and Hawaii, pay for his family’s dental work, his children’s tuition and international travel for nearly a dozen relatives. 

Thousands were also spent on “fast food, movie tickets, golf outings, video games, coffee, groceries, home utilities, and expensive meals.”

Hunter allegedly falsified campaign records filed to the Federal Election Commission to conceal the purchases by mischaracterizing the expenses as ” ‘campaign travel,’ ‘dinner with volunteers/contributors,’ ‘toy drives,’ ‘teacher/parent and supporter events,’ ‘gift cards’ for charitable donations, and ‘gift basket items,’ among other false descriptions,’ ” according to the DOJ.

Hunter has represented the 50th Congressional District since 2013. He won reelection in 2016 by roughly 27 percentage points.

On November’s ballot, Hunter will face a Democrat challenger, Ammar Campa-Najjar, who finished in second in the June primary.

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