Congressman Duncan Hunter, the incumbent representing California’s 50th District, won Tuesday’s primary by double digits and will now face Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar in the general election this fall.
Hunter represents a district that has been red for decades. In fact, it has been a Hunter district for decades. Before Hunter was elected in 2009, his father Duncan Hunter, Sr. served the district for 14 terms starting in 1981.
Hunter received a comfortable 49 percent of the vote Tuesday night, but some Republicans are concerned a federal investigation could hurt his chances in November.
Hunter is being investigated by the Justice Department for potential misuse of tens of thousands of dollars in campaign funds. In some cases, he used the money for family vacations, video games, groceries and even airfare for a pet rabbit.
In a poll that came out before the primary 40 percent of respondents said the investigation will have no effect on their vote, but 32 percent said it would have a major impact.
The threat of a possible indictment as the election gets closer has some strategists like John Dadian worried.
“Timing is everything in politics and if it's too close to the November election yeah it could throw things pretty much in an array,” Dadian told NBC 7.
If Hunter were indicted, Republicans are concerned he might resign before the election, leaving the Democrat uncontested.
Dadian said there could also be a special election in the event of Hunter’s resignation.
Campa-Najjar, who came in second with 16 percent of the vote, is a 29-year-old Arab Latino American who worked as a labor department official in the Obama administration. He owns ACN Strategies, a company that helps small businesses compete against larger companies.
Hunter has denied any wrongdoing and had paid back thousands in campaign funds.