The San Diego Republican Party declined to endorse indicted Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) on Monday.
During a conference in San Diego, Hunter tried–and apparently failed–to convince the party that he was their best shot at winning California’s 50th District despite being indicted on criminal charges for alleged campaign finance fraud.
“We require a 2/3 threshold for an endorsement and no candidate reached that threshold,” GOP chair Tony Krvaric told TPM.
However, Hunter’s campaign is apparently unbothered.
Campaign spokesperson Mike Harris told TPM that the lack of endorsement “was what we were looking for.”
“[Hunter’s] preference was that the party not endorse at this time,” he said.
Hunter is fighting off three other Republicans gunning for his seat: Former Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), state Sen. Brian Jones (R) and radio host Carl DeMaio.
The Republican lawmaker is also facing off against his Democratic challenger in the 2018 midterms, Ammar Campa-Najjar.
Federal prosecutors hit Hunter with a criminal indictment in August 2018 for allegedly dipping into $250,000 in campaign donations for personal use, including extramarital affairs with five women.
Hunter’s trial is set to begin on January 22 next year.
This story has been updated to include the Hunter campaign’s response.
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