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Former Rep. Darrell Issa launches exploratory committee in challenge to Rep. Duncan Hunter

49th District race: Rep. Darrell Issa believes Democrat will take his seat
Posted at 1:45 PM, Aug 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-29 19:34:57-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Former Rep. Darrell Issa announced Thursday the launch of an exploratory committee in a challenge to Rep. Duncan Hunter in the 50th Congressional District.

“I have formally launched an exploratory committee for the 50th Congressional District in California,” Issa's website reads. “I have received such a tremendous outpouring of encouragement from supporters inside the district, and around the state and across the Nation.”

Issa announced in 2018 that he would not seek re-election in California's 49th Congressional District.

In September of 2018, the 64-year-old Issa was nominated by the Trump administration to lead the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.

RELATED: Reaction to Rep. Darrell Issa's retirement announcement pours in

A spokesperson for Hunter sent 10News the following statement after the announcement:

There are two very important goals here in this district - providing the citizens of the 50th Congressional District with the leadership and commitment to the conservative values and pro-Trump principles which they care about while, at the same time, ensuring that a Bernie Sanders-AOC Democratic socialist does not have the opportunity to advance a horrible, progressive agenda in Congress. Congressman Hunter has successfully, and unapologetically, accomplished both goals and will continue to do so.

The announcement comes amid corruption charges involving the misuse of campaign funds against Rep. Hunter.

Both Hunter and his wife were indicted after authorities say they used more than $250,000 in campaign cash for personal expenses.

The money was reportedly used for expenses ranging from groceries to family vacations.

RELATED: Rep. Duncan Hunter's corruption trial moved to January 2020

Rep. Hunter has pleaded not guilty while his wife, Margaret Hunter, pleaded guilty to one corruption count, agreeing to cooperate with investigators.

Hunter is due in court in January of 2020.