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Ex-Rep. Hunter Touts Iraq War Vets To Revive GOP

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Duncan Hunter , a retired Republican who once chaired the Armed Services Committee, has decided that Iraq War veterans are the perfect candidates to revive the Republican Party in 2010.

Hunter — a Vietnam War vet who briefly sought the 2008 Republican presidential nomination — is already backing two such candidates as they launch challenges to two of the more junior members of the House Democratic majority: Jesse Kelly , who wants to take on two-term incumbent Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona’s 8th District, and Vaughn Ward , whose target in Idaho’s 1st District is freshman Democrat Walt Minnick .  

Hunter will be attending a series of brunches, receptions and a golf outing in Tucson this weekend with Kelly, who said Hunter is a big attraction in conservative circles in his district in Arizona’s southeastern corner. “He did very well in early presidential polls down here,” Kelly noted, referring to Hunter’s 2008 bid.  

During much of his House career, Hunter represented a California district that stretched from San Diego east to the border of Kelly’s home state of Arizona, though for the past decade the 52nd District has been confined to San Diego County in California’s southwest corner.

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