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Hunter Sr. endorses Issa for son’s 50th District seat

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EL CAJON, Calif. – Duncan Hunter Sr. weighed in Friday on the future of California's 50th District, a seat he held for 28 years before his son took over.

Rep. Duncan Hunter Jr. said in a statement earlier in the day that he will resign after the holidays. News of the congressman's resignation was expected after he pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of misusing campaign funds.

In an interview with FOX 5, Hunter Sr. endorsed 49th District Rep. Darrell Issa for the seat.

“In terms of being a candidate for this district, I think Darrell is outstanding. I’ve been to Afghanistan with him, I’ve served with him,” Hunter Sr. said.

The candidate released this statement in response:

“I am grateful for his confidence in me to continue working on behalf of this community and fight for President Trump’s border wall, and strong and capable military, and a growing economy.”

Fellow Republican candidate and former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio pushed back, releasing a statement that read in part:

“It’s no surprise the Hunter dynasty is backing Darrell Issa -- it’s a quid pro quo for Issa shamelessly defending Duncan Hunter Jr.’s behavior.”

Hunter Sr. said his son is taking the conviction as well as someone can.

“He’s doing fine. He's very tough. He’s tougher than a $2 steak. He's strong. He did the right thing."

Hunter Jr. faces a maximum sentence of five years when his penalty is set on March 17.

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