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Rep. Duncan Hunter Faces New Election Opponent: Fellow Republican Darrell Issa

All but lost in impeachment news: Rep. Duncan Hunter, representing California's 50th District despite currently facing trial for stealing campaign funds for his own personal use, now has a new big-name Republican opponent for 2020.
Rep. Duncan Hunter Faces New Election Opponent: Fellow Republican Darrell Issa
The case for Issa: What if instead of electing a Republican who may be in prison before the election, we elect one whose FBI background check marked them as unfit for a government job. Better, right? Image from: AFP/Getty Images

All but lost in impeachment news: Rep. Duncan Hunter, representing California's 50th District despite currently facing trial for stealing campaign funds for his own personal use, now has a new big-name Republican opponent for 2020. That's good news, you're no doubt thinking. If the hard-Republican 50th insists on being represented by a Republican, at the very least it should be someone not currently facing serious prison time for political corruption. And you're right! Mostly!

The new challenger is Republican ex-congressman Darrell Issa, the very wealthy, sigh, car alarm magnate who retired last year for no particular reason and who has long dodged questions about his own shady or shadiness-adjacent past. He was nominated last year by Donald Trump to be director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, but that nomination was put on indefinite hold in the Senate after Issa's FBI background check turned up "problematic and potentially disqualifying" information.

We don't know what that information is, or if we will ever be allowed to know it, but it was apparently serious enough for Issa to within a week decide that perhaps sliding over to Duncan Hunter's seat for a new election bid was a more plausible career path than going forward with a Senate confirmation. Take that as you will.

In any event, being represented by a Republican facing allegations that are still classified is a considerable step up from being represented by a Republican whose trial will be actively underway on primary day, so Issa is expected to be a considerable threat to Hunter's bid to retain office.

Both will face Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar in California's "jungle primary," in which the top-two vote getters move on to the November elections regardless of party affiliation. But it is extremely likely that Hunter and Issa will have spent a fair amount of time doing damage to each other before then; just look at all they both have to work with.

Published with permission from Daily Kos.

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