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Campaign Will Proceed With Candidate Away

As Marine Reservist Duncan D. Hunter (R) readies for another tour of duty in combat — this time in Afghanistan — his campaign for the 52nd district House seat is busy raising money and working to build political support while simultaneously preparing to function absent its candidate.

Hunter, running to replace his father, presidential candidate Rep. Duncan Hunter (R), is scheduled to return from Afghanistan in early January 2008, leaving what his advisers say is plenty of time to campaign in advance of the June primary.

Until then, Hunter will rely on surrogates and campaign professionals, including Sacramento, Calif.-based Republican consultant David Gilliard and Sheila Hardison, who will handle fundraising in San Diego.

Rep. Ed Royce (R) and state Sen. Dennis Hollingsworth (R) have endorsed Hunter, who completed a tour of combat duty in Iraq in 2005 and now serves as a captain in the Marine Corps Individual Ready Reserve. More elected officials and local party activists are expected to follow Royce and Hollingsworth in backing Hunter, due in large part to the network of supporters his father has developed during almost 14 terms in Congress.

However, Hunter is expected to have a campaign on his hands in the primary, as at least a few Republicans are contemplating a run, with wealthy businessman Ken King among them.
— David M. Drucker

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