Duncan D. Hunter

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For his father and predecessor, see Duncan Hunter.
Duncan D. Hunter
Duncan Hunter 113th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 50th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by Brian Bilbray
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 52nd district
In office
January 3, 2009 – January 3, 2013
Preceded by Duncan L. Hunter
Succeeded by Scott Peters
Personal details
Born Duncan Duane Hunter
(1976-12-07) December 7, 1976 (age 38)
San Diego, California, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Margaret Hunter[1]
Children 3
Residence Lakeside, California, U.S.
Alma mater San Diego State University
Profession Politician, military officer, businessman
Religion Protestant[1]
Awards Combat Action Ribbon.svg Combat Action Ribbon
NavyPres.gif Presidential Unit Citation
National Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg National Defense Service Medal
Afghanistan Campaign ribbon.svg Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Iraq Campaign ribbon.svg Iraq Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary ribbon.svg Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service ribbon.svg Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.svg Sea Service Deployment Ribbon
Military service
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 2001 – Current
Rank US-O4 insignia.svg Major[2]
Unit 1 11unitlogo.jpg 1st Battalion, 11th Marines
Battles/wars War in Afghanistan
Iraq War

Duncan Duane Hunter (born December 7, 1976) is a member of the United States House of Representatives. He has served in Congress since 2009, previously representing California's 52nd congressional district, where he was preceded in office by his father, Duncan Lee Hunter. As a result of redistricting, Hunter switched to the neighboring 50th district at the start of the 113th Congress in 2013.

Hunter is a member of the Republican Party, and his district covers almost all of San Diego County except for the coastal and border areas. Hunter's district includes Fallbrook, San Marcos, Valley Center, Escondido, Santee, Lakeside, and mountain and desert areas stretching to the Imperial County line.

Hunter is a reserve United States Marine Corps officer and a veteran of both the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan. He was the first combat veteran of either Iraq or Afghanistan to serve in the U.S. Congress.[3] As of 2014, he was one of 17 veterans of the Iraq War serving in the U.S. House of Representatives.[4]

Early life, education, and business career[edit]

Hunter was born in San Diego, California,[5] the son of Helynn Louise "Lynne" (née Layh) and Duncan Lee Hunter.[6][7] He graduated from Granite Hills High School in El Cajon, California. He attended San Diego State University, where he earned a degree in Business Administration. Hunter started a web design company in college to help pay for tuition. Upon graduation from San Diego State, he worked full-time in San Diego as an information technology business analyst.[8]

Military service[edit]

The day after the September 11 attacks, Hunter quit his job and joined the U.S. Marine Corps. He attended Officer Candidates School at Marine Corps Base Quantico. Upon graduation in March 2002, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He subsequently served as a field artillery officer in the 1st Marine Division after the 2003 invasion of Iraq and completed a second tour in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004, serving in Battery A, 1st Battalion, 11th Marines. During his second tour, he participated in Operation Vigilant Resolve. In September 2005, Hunter was honorably discharged from active duty but remained in the Marine Corps Reserve. He then started a residential development company. In 2007, he was recalled to active duty and deployed to Afghanistan in support of the War in Afghanistan; this was his third tour of duty during the War on Terrorism. Hunter was honorably discharged from active duty in December 2007, but continues to serve in the Marine Corps Reserve.[9] Hunter was promoted to major in 2012.[2]

Hunter's awards include:[10]

Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
1st row Combat Action Ribbon Navy and Marine Corps Presidential Unit Citation
2nd row National Defense Service Medal Afghanistan Campaign Medal w/1 service star Iraq Campaign Medal w/2 service stars
3rd row Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal Global War on Terrorism Service Medal Sea Service Deployment Ribbon w/ 2 service stars

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]



Hunter ran for his father's seat and won the Republican primary with 72.2% of the vote in a four candidate field.[11][12] In the general election, Hunter defeated Democratic nominee Mike Lumpkin, an Iraq War veteran, 56.4%-39%.[13][14] Hunter thus replaced his father, Congressman Duncan L. Hunter (R-Calif.), who retired from Congress after fourteen terms.[15]


He won re-election to a second term with 63.1% of the vote, defeating Ray Lutz and Michael Benoit.[16]


After redistricting, Hunter decided to run in the newly redrawn California's 50th congressional district.[17] In the five-candidate open primary field, Hunter ranked first with 67.4% of the vote; Democratic nominee David Secor ranked second with 16.8% of the vote, qualifying for the November election.[18] In the general election, Hunter defeated Secor 67.7%-32.3%.[19]


In a 2009 interview with KPBS, Hunter expressed support for "overriding" the designation of smelt fish as an endangered species, saying that overriding it would reduce unemployment in California.[20] Hunter also opposed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, saying that it would "take away" the doctor-patient relationship and the right for people to choose "what type of operations they have," and that it would allow a "government bureaucrat" to make health care decisions for people. In the KPBS interview, Hunter said, "Things that you have problems with now would be exacerbated if you had government-run healthcare."[21]

At an April 2010 Tea Party movement rally in Ramona, California, Hunter advocated for the deportation of United States citizens who are the children of illegal immigrants.[22] At the rally, Hunter said, "It's a complex issue and...you could look and say, 'You're a mean guy. That's a mean thing to do. That's not a humanitarian thing to do.' " Hunter added, "We simply cannot afford what we're doing right now. We just can't afford it. California's going under." Hunter confirmed the comments to San Diego County's North County Times, telling the newspaper that he also supported House Resolution 1868, a measure that called for the elimination of birthright citizenship in the United States. Hunter has also expressed support for the controversial 2010 Arizona immigration law, calling it a national security issue and "a fantastic starting point."[23]

In July 2010, Hunter introduced legislation into the 111th Congress to allow tobacco products to be shipped to service members serving in Iraq and Afghanistan;[24] the legislation died after being referred to committee.[25]

Hunter opposed the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and advocated for delaying the repeal after it was ratified by U.S. President Barack Obama. In 2011, Hunter introduced legislation to require that all "four military service chiefs certify that the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell won't negatively affect their combat units."[26]

In 2011, Hunter voted for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012.[27]

Columnist Dan Murtaugh of the Press-Register has suggested that Hunter's 2011 call to rebid the littoral combat ship program is an attempt to get federal funds for a shipyard in his district.[28] Hunter returned to the LCS program in 2012, with a call to reduce LCS builds in favor of amphibious ships, because he had read a report that the Marines had leased a ferry with similar characteristics to the LCS and JHSV.[29] In 2013 Hunter said the United States Navy was overworked and spread thin, and said that a "306-ship target might represent the absolute minimum capacity the navy needs".[30]

Hunter has called for the system of awarding the Medal of Honor to be evaluated, due to the cases of Sergeant Rafael Peralta and Captain William D. Swenson.[31][32][33] Even after Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel became the third Secretary to deny the award to Peralta, Hunter maintained his pressure on the Pentagon. In late March 2014, he sent a letter asking the Pentagon to reevaluate Peralta's case, as well as the case of Bradley Kasal, who used his body to shield a fellow Marine from a grenade blast in Iraq in 2004.[34]

In 2011, Hunter opposed a complete withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan, citing the concern of an "unreliable Afghan leadership," and called upon the Obama Administration to "stop echoing a misshapen worldview that puts American interests last."[35] In October 2012, Hunter returned from a visit to Afghanistan, as part of a congressional delegation, with a more upbeat assessment, stating "Frankly I was very skeptical last year when I went last, and have been, on whether [the Afghans] can do this, but they are."[36]

In 2013, Hunter accused the nation's military leaders of theatrics in the cuts that resulted from the failure of Congress to come to a deal to avert sequestration. He listed targeted spending reductions that he would prefer to make instead of the across the board cuts.[37] Hunter also voiced his concern regarding potentially different standards for women and men for the same direct combat positions, following the Obama Administration's decision to allow women to serve in those positions.[38]

On July 24, 2013, Hunter voted against the Amash amendment to rein in the domestic surveillance conducted by the NSA.[39]

In October 2013 Hunter was the only Representative from San Diego County to vote against the bill which ended the nation's 16-day partial government shutdown, explaining that he voted against it because it did not reduce spending or the national debt.[40]

On December 4, 2013, Hunter commented that if war with Iran becomes inevitable, which he "sure as hell" hoped wouldn't happen, the American response should be a "massive aerial bombing campaign" including "tactical nuclear devices".[41] He also said that the culture of Middle Easterners made them unreliable negotiating partners.[42]

Hunter has strongly criticized the Army's use of its internally developed DCGS-A system for tracking battlefield intelligence. He says that an alternative technology developed by Palantir Technologies is more effective at identifying IEDs and is preferred by Army personnel.[43] Hunter says that if Lt. Gen. Mary A. Legere is nominated to head the Defense Intelligence Agency, he will oppose her because of her support of the DCGS-A system.[44]

Hunter has moved to block a plan by the military to ban sales of tobacco products on bases and ships, indicating that he believes servicemembers should be able to make their own choices regarding use of tobacco.[45]

In 2013 Hunter called for the United States to train and arm Syrian rebels and stated his opinion that President Obama would be breaking the law if he bombed Syria without a Congressional mandate, and that it should be considered an impeachable offense.[46][47] In September 2014 Hunter voted against a proposal to train and arm Syrian rebels fighting against Islamic State extremists; he said the proposal didn't go far enough.[48]


Hunter introduced the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2014 (H.R. 4005; 113th Congress) into the House on February 6, 2014.[49] The bill would amend laws that govern the activities of the United States Coast Guard (USCG), the Maritime Administration (MARAD) within the Department of Transportation, and the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC).[50] Hunter argued that the bill "improves the effectiveness of Coast Guard missions by reducing inefficient operations and enhancing oversight, places the Coast Guard's major systems acquisition program on a sustainable track, and encourages job growth in the U.S. maritime industry by cutting regulatory burdens on job creation."[51]

A provision in the bill would increase the amount of food aid that must be transported on private U.S.-flagged cargo ships to 75%. Supporters of the provision argue that it will support jobs in the maritime industry and enhance military readiness by ensuring a viable supply of cargo ships during wars and other emergencies. Opponents argue that it will increase the cost of food aid and delay delivery by months. They also argue that most private cargo ships are not "militarily useful".[52]

Committee assignments[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Hunter, his wife Margaret, and their three children have lived in Lakeside, California since 2007; he has previously lived in Oklahoma, Virginia and Idaho.[21][53]


  1. ^ a b Official Congressional Directory, 2011–2012: 112th Congress, Convened January 2011. Government Printing Office. 2012. p. 44. ISBN 9780160886539. Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Biography". Congressman Duncan Hunter. United States House of Representatives. Retrieved 28 April 2013. Still a marine reservist, he was promoted to captain in 2006, and to major in 2012. 
    Jeff Horseman (22 February 2013). "CONGRESS: Temecula part of Hunter’s district". The Press-Enterprise. Retrieved 28 April 2013. Temecula is home to a number of marines stationed at Camp Pendleton, and Hunter is a major in the Marine Corps Reserve who served two tours in Iraq and another in Afghanistan. 
  3. ^ "Duncan D. Hunter for Congress". Hunterforcongress.com. Retrieved 27 October 2010. 
    "Rep. Duncan D. Hunter". The Arena. Politico LLC. 2012. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
    Chief Petty Officer Lesley Maceyak (12 September 2012). "News: US Rep. Duncan Hunter Jr. tours Navy Lab, awards GWOT medals". Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (San Diego). Retrieved 6 January 2015. 
    B.J. Coleman (4 October 2014). "Congressman Duncan D. Hunter squares off against challenger James Kimber in debate sponsored by Veterans Campaign". The Alpine Sun. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  4. ^ O'Toole, Molly (June 18, 2014). "Iraq War Veterans In Congress Mostly Urge Caution". Defense One. Retrieved 5 January 2015. 
  5. ^ "Representative Duncan D. Hunter's Biography". Project Vote Smart. One Common Ground. 2013. Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  6. ^ Diane Bell (19 February 2013). "District attorney happy to do her bit on jury duty". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  7. ^ http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~battle/reps/hunterdd.htm
  8. ^ Kitto, Kris (4 March 2009). "The 'normal' life of Duncan D. Hunter". TheHill.com. Retrieved 27 October 2010. 
  9. ^ Maze, Rick (24 January 2009). "Former Marine in Congress vows to help troops". Marine Corps Times. Retrieved 12 February 2011. 
    Elizabeth Marie Himchak (7 September 2011). "Battle-tested Marines lead Poway Patriotic Parade". Pomerado News. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  10. ^ "MOWW 2012 Distinguished Service Award Recipient" (PDF). Officer Review (The Military Order of the World Wars) 52 (1): 14. 2012. Retrieved 17 December 2012. 
  11. ^ Debra Bowen (3 June 2008). "Statement of Vote" (PDF). Secretary of State. State of California. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  12. ^ Primary Election. Registrar of Voters (June 3, 2008).[dead link]
  13. ^ Debra Bowen (4 November 2008). "Statement of Vote" (PDF). Secretary of State. State of California. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  14. ^ Shane, Leo, III (6 November 2008). "Six recent combat veterans win congressional races". Stars and Stripes. 
  15. ^ Clock, Michele (4 June 2008). "Hunter takes GOP primary". San Diego Union-Tribune. 
  16. ^ Debra Bowen (6 January 2011). "Statement of Vote" (PDF). California Secretary of State. State of California. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  17. ^ Walker, Mark (2011-08-16). "REGION: Saldana is against Bilbray as redistricting completed". U-T San Diego. Retrieved 2013-12-06. 
  18. ^ Debra Bowen (5 June 2012). "Statement of Vote" (PDF). California Secretary of State. State of California. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  19. ^ Debra Bowen (6 November 2012). "Statement of Vote" (PDF). California Secretary of State. State of California. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  20. ^ Hank Cook; Doug Myrland (11 June 2009). "Rep. Duncan D. Hunter Discusses First Year in Office, Economy, Health Care". KPBS. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  21. ^ a b Crook, Hank; Doug Myrland (11 June 2009). "Rep. Duncan D. Hunter Discusses First Year in Office, Economy, Health Care". KPBS. Retrieved 12 February 2011. 
  22. ^ "Calif. congressman wants to deport children of illegal immigrants". USA Today. 28 April 2010. 
  23. ^ Ponting, Bob (29 April 2010). "Congressman's call to deport children of illegals sparks firestorm". Fox 5 San Diego. Retrieved 12 February 2011. 
  24. ^ Rick Maze (2 August 2010). "Hunter seeks loophole to let troops get smokes". Marine Corps Times. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  25. ^ "H.R.6037 - To amend title 18, United States Code, to provide for an exception to the prohibition against mailing tobacco products for products mailed to members of the Armed Forces serving in a combat zone.". United States Legislative Information. Library of Congress. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  26. ^ PENNER, GLORIA (21 January 2011). "SD Congressman Challenges Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Repeal". KPBS. Retrieved 12 February 2011. 
  27. ^ Sheets, Connor (2011-12-16). "NDAA Bill: How Did Your Congress Member Vote?". International Business Times. Retrieved 2013-12-06. 
  28. ^ Murtaugh, Dan. "Congressman asks for LCS program review, possible rebidding." Press-Register, 7 July 2011.
  29. ^ Robbins, Gary. "Hunter: Navy may need fewer littoral combat ships." San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 September 2012.
  30. ^ Jeanette Steele (6 February 2013). "Hunter Opposes Plan for Smaller Navy Fleet". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 7 February 2013. 
  31. ^ Charles Hoskinson (12 October 2011). "Defense too stingy with Medal of Honor, says Duncan Hunter". Politico. Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  32. ^ Stephen Dinan (13 August 2012). "Congressman: Medal of Honor system broken". Washington Times. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  33. ^ John Wilkens (23 December 2012). "The changing process of awarding military's highest medal: Peralta case an example of modern methods interfering with witness accounts, vets say". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  34. ^ "Lawmaker: Grant all Marines who cover grenades the Medal of Honor". 
  35. ^ Duncan D. Hunter (3 June 2011). "How to handle Afghanistan". Politico. Retrieved 26 January 2013. 
  36. ^ Gretel C. Kovach (20 October 2013). "Hunter reports progress in Afghan war effort". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 26 January 2013. 
  37. ^ Rowan Scarborough (17 February 2013). "Pentagon aims ax to make a point with sequester cuts, uses worst-case scenarios to force deal". Washington Times. Retrieved 12 February 2013. As for alternatives to postponing ship deployments, Mr. Hunter suggests cutting a Navy pet project — its Green Fleet — and stop funding the Army’s $28 billion battlefield intelligence processor, which has flunked operational tests. 
  38. ^ Rick Maze (8 March 2013). "Hunter fears lax standards for women in combat". Army Times. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
    Jeff Horseman (22 February 2013). "CONGRESS: Hunter has qualms about women in combat". The Press-Enterprise. Retrieved 6 March 2013. 
  39. ^ "Amash amendment: the full roll call". The Guardian. 24 July 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2013. 
  40. ^ Walker, Mark (October 17, 2013). "Duncan Hunter explains 'no' vote on shutdown bill; Alpine Republican was county congressional delegation's only vote against deal". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  41. ^ "Hunter: If You Hit Iran, Do It With Tactical Nuclear Devices". Washington Free Beacon. December 4, 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2013. 
  42. ^ Bennett, John T. (4 December 2013). "Rep. Hunter: US Should Use Tactical Nukes on Iran if Strikes Become Necessary". defensenews.com. Gannett Government Media Corporation. Retrieved 4 December 2013. 
  43. ^ Carter, Sara (April 22, 2014). "‘Matter of Life and Limb’: The Congressman Who’s Going to Battle With the Army Over a Software Program". The Blaze. Retrieved 14 May 2014. 
  44. ^ Matishak, Martin (May 2, 2014). "Rep. Hunter opposes possible nominee to lead Pentagon spy agency". The Hill. Retrieved 14 May 2014. 
  45. ^ Shane III, Leo (7 May 2014). "Lawmakers move to block Navy plan to restrict tobacco sales". www.navytimes.com (Gannett). Retrieved 2 October 2014. 
  46. ^ Horseman, Jeff (August 27, 2013). "SYRIA: Duncan Hunter visits border, urges arming opposition group". www.pe.com (The Press-Enterprise). Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  47. ^ Dinan, Stephen (September 3, 2013). "Hunter: Obama inviting impeachment if he strikes Syria without Congress". www.washingtontimes.com (The Washington Times). Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  48. ^ Jennewein, Chris (September 17, 2014). "Rep. Hunter Is Lone S.D. Vote Against Obama’s Syria Request". timesofsandiego.com (Times of San Diego LLC). Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  49. ^ "H.R. 4005 - Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  50. ^ "H.R. 4005 - CBO". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  51. ^ Jim Billimoria; Justin Harclerode (6 February 2014). "Committee Leaders Introduce Coast Guard & Maritime Transportation Bill". House Transportation Committee. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  52. ^ Kristina Peterson (April 24, 2014). "White House Warns Bill Would Crimp Foreign Food Aid". WSJ. Retrieved May 6, 2014. 
  53. ^ Rothstein, Betsy (20 March 2007). "Congressman Duncan Hunter will not seek reelection". The Hill. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Duncan L. Hunter
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 52nd congressional district

Succeeded by
Scott Peters
Preceded by
Brian Bilbray
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 50th congressional district

United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Jim Himes
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Lynn Jenkins