SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — After saying he would resign from Congress "shortly after the holidays," Rep. Duncan Hunter remains quiet on when that day will come.
A Hunter spokesperson says that the convicted congressman has yet to finalize a date for his resignation.
Hunter, R-Alpine, pleaded guilty last month to a federal charge of conspiracy to misuse campaign funds for personal use as part of a plea deal. After striking the deal, Hunter issued a statement days later, saying “shortly after the Holidays I will resign from Congress."
Hunter's non-specific date added a new layer to the race for his 50th District seat, which will see three Republicans — former city council member Carl DeMaio, former Congressman Darrell Issa, and State Senator Brian Jones — and Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar campaign for his spot.
DeMaio slammed Hunter's decision shortly after his announcement.
“By intentionally delaying his resignation past the deadline for the calling of a Special Election, Congressman Duncan Hunter is silencing the voice of the voters of the 50th District for a full year in Congress. The voters of the 50th District deserve having their voice back in Congress as soon as possible and only a Special Election can give the voters a voice again," DeMaio said.
Under state law, Gov. Gavin Newsom has 14 calendar days after a vacancy occurs to call for a special election, which must then be held within 140 days.
The timing of Hunter's decision fell after the deadline that would force Newsom to hold a special election. Now, the governor may leave the seat vacant until after 2020, proceed with a special election, or consolidate the special election with a regularly scheduled election like the March 2020 Primary.
The San Diego County Registrar's Office told 10News in December that the longer Hunter waits to make a date official, the more complex March could become.
Hunter faces five years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced on March 17.