Duncan Hunter, a former Republican congressman who represented an area near San Diego for nearly six terms, was sentenced to 11 months in prison on Tuesday for campaign finance violations. He will also serve three years of supervised probation upon his release.
In their sentencing argument, prosecutors wrote “As we now know, Hunter lied to the people about his guilt. Not once, but countless times. In doing so, he conned voters into electing a soon-to-be-convict.”
The California Republican was indicted in August of 2018 — before he was re-elected to his seat — and the details within the indictment raised eyebrows when it was released.
Hunter and his family were accused of spending a quarter of a million dollars of campaign funds on personal expenses, including “more than $14,000 for a family Thanksgiving vacation in Italy in November 2015; more than $6,500 for a family vacation to Hawaii in April 2015; more than $3,700 for a family vacation to Las Vegas and Boise in July 2015; more than $2,400 for a Las Vegas couples vacation in August 2011; and more vacations to destinations such as Lake Tahoe, Pittsburgh, London, and Washington,” according to the indictment.
At another point, the indictment accused him of spending $462.46 in campaign funds on tequila shots and a steak at a Washington, D.C., restaurant.
Duncan Hunter inherited the seat from his father retired after he represented the district for 28 years.
After initially pleading not guilty, Hunter agreed to plead guilty to a single federal charge of misuse of campaign funds and he resigned in mid-January.
In his district, two candidates — Republican Darrell Issa, who formerly served in Congress and Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar — made it through the March 3 primary election. Campa-Najjar won the most votes in the primary but the Republican vote was split between three candidates. Cook Political Report gives the race a “lean Republican” rating.