Gov. Newsom says special election won’t be called to fill Hunter’s seat

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A special election will not be called to fill Rep. Duncan Hunter's seat when he resigns from office Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom's office said Wednesday.

"The Governor's office received Rep. Hunter's resignation letter. Based on the timing of the resignation, a special election will not be called," spokesman Vicky Waters said in an email to FOX 5.

The seat will remain open until a successor emerges from the November general election.

In his resignation letters to Newsom and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Hunter said that he will no longer serve as U.S. Representative for the district.

The resignation comes after Hunter's guilty plea to federal corruption charges stemming from suspected misuse of more than $200,000 in campaign funds.

"It has been an honor to serve the people of California's 50th District, and I greatly appreciate the trust they have put in me over these last 11 years," the letter concluded.

The congressman, who represents the northeastern San Diego area, had previously denied dipping into campaign funds to pay for personal expenses, including video games, an Italian vacation and groceries.

Hunter and his wife Margaret were indicted in August 2018 for using funds to pay for personal expenses, leading him to step down from his congressional committee assignments, though he later went on to win reelection after running an anti-Muslim campaign against his Democratic opponent. Margaret Hunter pleaded guilty earlier this year to conspiring with her husband to “knowingly and willingly” convert campaign funds for personal use.

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