Indicted lawmaker Duncan Hunter fails to land endorsement from local GOP

Indicted lawmaker Duncan Hunter fails to land endorsement from local GOP
© Greg Nash

GOP Rep. Duncan HunterDuncan HunterDemocrats running to replace Duncan Hunter, Chris Collins vow to support ethics package California governor won't call special election for Duncan Hunter's seat Rep. Duncan Hunter plans to resign next week MORE (Calif.) did not receive the endorsement from his local Republican Party as he faces both stiff competition in a crowded primary ahead of the 2020 race as well as a federal indictment on fraud and campaign finance charges.

The Associated Press reported Tuesday that Hunter did not meet the two-third support threshold he needed to achieve to secure the endorsement from the San Diego Republican Party.

The six-term congressman is facing stiff GOP primary competition from former Rep. Darrell IssaDarrell Edward IssaDuncan Hunter to plead guilty to campaign finance violations Why the GOP march of mad hatters poses a threat to our Democracy Elijah Cummings, native son of Baltimore, gets emotional send-off from Democratic luminaries MORE as well as conservative talk radio host Carl DeMaio and state Sen. Brian Jones.

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None of the four GOP candidates in attendance at a forum in San Diego on Monday met the threshold to receive the local party’s official backing. The party did not release the vote totals.

"I’ve got this seat,” Hunter said at the forum as the other candidates sat behind him, according to the AP. “I’ve won this seat in the worst of times. I’m still fighting from this seat. I’m still fighting for you.”

Hunter is currently facing an indictment on charges of campaign finance violations and wire fraud. His wife, Margaret Hunter, who served as his campaign chairwoman, already pleaded guilty to a corruption charge earlier this year.

Hunter has maintained his innocence, and his trial is scheduled to begin in January.

At the forum Monday, Hunter pointed to the fact that he won reelection for his seat in 2018 even after being charged.

“Even when Democrat operatives in a U.S. attorney’s office indicted me months before my election, tried to steal my seat, I still won,” he said.

Hunter defeated Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar in 2018 by 3.4 percentage points. Campa-Najjar, who served in the Obama administration, will run against Hunter again next year.

California's 50th District, which covers east San Diego County and parts of Riverside County, is reliably red, with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump denies telling Bolton Ukraine aid was tied to investigations Former senior Senate GOP aide says Republicans should call witnesses Title, release date revealed for Bolton memoir MORE winning it in 2016 by 15 points.