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Businessman Explores Race for Hunter’s Seat

Businessman and former San Diego County Lincoln Club Chairman Bob Watkins (R) on Monday announced that he is exploring a run for the 52nd district seat being vacated by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R), who is retiring to run for president.

“We’ve received very strong support from the donor community, as well as from the Republican grass roots activists,” Watkins said in a statement. “We’re moving ahead toward a formal announcement, and we expect to become the front-runner once we make our announcement.”

That might be news to Marine Reservist Duncan D. Hunter (R), the son of Congressman Hunter who launched his bid earlier this year. Hunter is currently deployed to Afghanistan and has been campaigning in absentia with the help of his wife and myriad supporters. He is expected to return from active duty next year, well in advance of California’s June primary for Congressional and state legislative seats.

Watkins is the president and CEO of R.J. Watkins & Company Ltd., an executive recruiting firm.

The San Diego-area 52nd district is solid Republican territory and should be easily held by the GOP next year. The other declared Republican candidates are businessman Ken King and Santee City Councilman Brian Jones, though others could follow.

— David M. Drucker

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