Public reacts to guilty plea from half of Hunter couple

Duncan D. Hunter

Republican Congressman Duncan D. Hunt¬er’s 50th district constituents learned recently his wife, Margaret E. Hunter, changed her plea, from not guilty to guilty on Thursday, June 13, 2019, at the Edward J. Schwartz Federal Courthouse in downtown San Diego.
In the plea agreement, defendant Margaret E. Hunter, 44, pleaded guilty to count one of the indictment that charged her and co-defendant Duncan D. Hunter, 42, to knowingly and willfully using funds from the Duncan D. Hunter for Congress Campaign Committee for personal expenses, in violation of title 18, United States Code, section 371.
Reactions to her plea agreement from people in Duncan Hunter’s Congressional district—which includes Alpine—varied.
“I think she’s doing what’s right,” said business owner David Rykowski. “But it depends on what she does at the trial in September and how much truthful information she has. Hope she is doing it for the city of Alpine.”
Rykowski knows how his vote will be cast in 2020 if Rep. Hunt¬er is on the ballot.
“I do not think he will get re-elected. I would not vote for him.”
Kendra Coulombe, a constituent from Ramona stated she thought Rep. Hunter served his district well, but no one should be above the law.
“She told the truth and the truth sets you free,” said Coulombe. “I listened to Radio 600 AM and 760 AM and people were calling in and justifying their support of them (the Hunter family). They will have their day in court and justice will be served.”
Rep. Hunter’s military service is respected by other constituents.
“I would vote for him again,” said Republican Patti Gonzales. “My husband is a veteran, [Duncan D. Hunter is] a veteran — that means something to us.”
Alpine resident John Kellogg said he wants to wait and see the outcome in September.
“I’ll have to wait and see how it plays out and effects him in his position,” he said.
Nancy Smith, a retired postal worker, reacted to how the husband-wife dynamics of the couple played out.
“I feel like they should be backing each other up,” she said, but took note of Duncan’s actions after the couple was indicted last fall. “As soon as he got on the news, he blamed her, threw her under the bus.”
California’s 50th congressional district encompasses Alpine, central and northeastern parts of the county of San Diego and a small area in Riverside County.
Duncan D. Hunter’s trial is set for Sept. 10, 2019.


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