WASHINGTON – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter on Monday will “make an announcement about a national campaign in 2008,” the California Republican told FOX News on Sunday.
Republican sources followed that by telling FOX News that Hunter is expected to announce his intentions to explore the presidency. That would include fundraising and grassroots efforts in key early Republican test states like Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. However, aides to Hunter said they do not know the content of Monday's announcement.
Hunter didn't offer more information, only that his announcement would didn't be made from the waterfront "where I started my humble career in 1980."
Hunter's press conference will be held at 2 p.m. EST in San Diego's large pier. The USS Midway will be a backdrop for the 13-term congressman, who represents northern and eastern San Diego.Hunter spokesman Joe Kasper would not comment on Hunter's plans.
John Hunter, Duncan's younger brother, said the congressman asked him and other siblings to join him at the news conference.
In Congress, Hunter, 58, is a key advocate for restructuring the Defense Department and co-authored the Secure Fence Act of 2006. His announcement comes with the midterm election just over a week away. Oddsmakers say they think Democrats could take back the majority, meaning Hunter would lose the top post on the Armed Services Committee and could become its ranking minority member instead.
Hunter voted against the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Central American Free Trade Agreement and opposed most-favored-nation status for China. This year, he was a vocal critic of a deal that gave a Dubai company control of some operations at six American ports.
Hunter has cruised to re-election since he, as a 32-year-old criminal defense attorney, rode Ronald Reagan's coattails to unseat a nine-term Democratic incumbent. The Riverside native faces token opposition next week in his bid for another term representing San Diego's eastern suburbs.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.