Duncan Hunter (R, CA-50) goes to prison for corruption.
This Red House seat is vulnerable to a Blue takeover in 2020.
Former Rep. Duncan Hunter was sentenced on Tuesday morning to 11 months in prison for violating campaign finance law.
Judge Thomas Whelan handed down the sentence in San Diego, capping a court case that saw prosecutors accuse Hunter of spending campaign funds on a wide array of personal matters. Hunter, a Republican, pleaded guilty in December and resigned his seat shortly after.
With coronavirus distancing measures reverberating through California’s court system, Whelan ordered that Hunter will not be required to surrender until late May. Asked about the health hazard incarceration could pose, Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily Allen said she was confident “Judge Whelan will take all the appropriate circumstances into consideration."
Allen also hailed the sentence as “very fair” and said prosecutors were “very pleased” with Whelan’s decision. Assistant U.S. Attorney Phil Halpern said the sentence established that “truth was victorious.”
“Unfortunately, in our country, too many people have come to embrace the notion that the individuals who write the laws feel they’re above the laws,” Halpern told reporters outside the courthouse, based on footage from CBS San Diego.
He added that “Duncan Hunter came to embody the very notion that politicians thought they were above the law.”
Hunter’s departure has opened up one of California’s few remaining solidly conservative seats. Voters will choose in November between filling the seat with former GOP Rep. Darrell Issa or Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar.