Duncan Hunter, who represents California’s 50th district in the US House of Representatives, announced Friday, December 5, that he will resign from that seat shortly after the holidays. Hunter has pleaded guilty to a federal charge of conspiring to misuse campaign funds (a plea that can result in a prison sentence of up to five years); he will be sentenced in March.
Rep. Hunter and his wife, Margaret Hunter, were indicted last August. His wife pleaded guilty in June of this year and she named the Congressman as a co-conspirator, saying that they had directed his campaign funds to pay personal expenses.
Hunter’s announcement came just one day after the House Ethics Committee informed him that, given his conviction, he should not vote on any issue before the House, and that he could face disciplinary action if he did.
The Thing to Know:
Hunter’s departure puts another seat in play in terms of the balance of power between the parties in the House of Representatives after the 2020 election. Since incumbents win most campaigns for reelection, most movement in that balance occurs in seats where there is no incumbent defending his place.