California: Ex-Navy SEAL to Run for Hunter House Seat

Posted October 29, 2007 at 6:25pm

Although the 52nd district is solid Republican territory and the winner of the GOP primary to replace Rep. Duncan Hunter (R) is expected to cruise to victory in the general election, the Democrats have recruited a credible candidate to run for the seat.

Retired Navy SEAL Mike Lumpkin is running for the Democrats, and he raised a respectable $50,000 in the third quarter of the year, closing September with more than $41,000 on hand.

Hunter is retiring to run for president, and among the candidates vying to replace him is his son, Marine Reservist Duncan D. Hunter, who is currently on combat duty in Afghanistan. If the younger Hunter wins the GOP primary nomination, expect Lumpkin to try and make an issue of his relationship to the current Congressman.

“A Congressional seat is too important to pass from father to son as a birthright because of name recognition, when America’s future is at stake,” Lumpkin said in a statement.

Lumpkin, who retired from the Navy over the summer, served as the former deputy commander for the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Arabian Peninsula for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Meanwhile, Hunter is not a shoo-in to win the GOP primary. Also running are Santee City Councilman Brian Jones, wealthy businessman Ken King and businessman and Republican activist Bob Watkins.

All of the GOP candidates closed the third quarter with considerably more cash on hand than Lumpkin.

— David M. Drucker