At a Glance
- Career History: United States Marine Corps (2001-2007)
- Birthday: December 7, 1976
- Hometown: Alpine, Cali.
- Alma Mater: B.A. from San Diego State University (2001)
- Spouse: Margaret Hunter
- Religion: Baptist
- Committees: Armed Services Committee, Education and Labor Committee
Path to Power
Hunter was only 3 when his father was first elected to the U.S. House. After graduating from San Diego University, Hunter worked in a high-tech firm until he decided to enlist in the Marine Corps in 2001 in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. He served one tour of duty in Afghanistan and two in Iraq, where he was during the 2004 Fallujah battle."I'd help my dad out with his campaigns, but I didn't like politics," Hunter has said of his early life.
But in 2007, when the elder Hunter announced he would give up his powerful House perch to launch a quixotic presidential campaign, his son decided to try and replace him. "It was in Iraq when I kind of decided then I'd like to keep serving [my country] in a different capacity after my tour was up," he explained. Since Hunter was called back to active duty shortly after announcing his campaign, his wife Margaret campaigned on his behalf for much of 2007.
Hunter, who has described himself as "part of the conservative wing of the Republican Party," has made immigration and national security his priorities.
Hunter sits on the Armed Services Committee formerly chaired by his dad, and from that perch argues for maintaining defense spending. This has led him to criticize the Obama administration for considering cuts to programs like a missile-defense system. Hunter's view that a vigorous defense industry can help the economy and provide jobs has led him to defend the earmarking process in the context of the development of national security infrastructure.
Hunter has ties to longtime Republican congressmen who were close to his father and have known him since he was a child. For instance, Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.) described interacting with a 4-year old Hunter at his own swearing-in back in 1981.
One of Hunter's closest congressional allies has been Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.), who knew the elder Duncan since the late 1970s. Bilbray, who also represents the San Diego region, has been Hunter's partner on immigration issues; he co-sponsored Hunter's bill authorizing additional fence construction and joined him in writing to Secretary Napolitano to urge her to build a fence at Bunker Hill.