US Rep. Duncan D. Hunter submitted his resignation Tuesday, one month after pleading guilty to a corruption charge, leaving vacant one of the GOP's few remaining House seats in heavily Democratic California. Hunter's departure effective Monday ends his family's political dynasty in which he and his father, Duncan L. Hunter, represented the San Diego County district for nearly 30 years, the AP reports. The combat Marine veteran—a staunch supporter of President Trump—served 11 years in Congress. His two-page letter of resignation—one version addressed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and another to California Gov. Gavin Newsom—lists his accomplishments and doesn't mention his criminal conviction. Newsom has not said whether he will order a special election or leave the seat open until a successor emerges from the November general election.
Hunter had been silent after saying early last month that he would step down “shortly after the holidays," drawing criticism last week from a fellow Republican who wants to succeed him, Carl DeMaio. Hunter, 43, gave no reason for resigning in his letter, instead offering a sweep of his achievements as a Marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and as a six-term congressman. After claiming to be the victim of a political witch hunt for more than a year, Hunter pleaded guilty Dec. 3 to a single charge of conspiring with his wife to illegally spend at least $150,000 in campaign funds on personal expenses, including a birthday gathering for his young daughter at a posh California hotel. He is scheduled to be sentenced March 17. (Prosecutors accused Duncan of using campaign funds for affairs with five women.)