Congressman Duncan Hunter represents California's 52nd Congressional District consisting of eastern and northern San Diego County. He is a Vietnam veteran, who served in the 173rd Airborne and 75th Army Rangers. In 1973, Hunter attended Western State University Law School (now Thomas Jefferson School of Law) in San Diego on the G.I. Bill, while also working at farming and construction. Opening a law office in Barrio Logan San Diego, Hunter assisted many in the Hispanic community free of charge and without government compensation. In 1980, he was asked to run against Congressman Lionel Van Deerlin, an 18-year incumbent, where, in a 2-to-1 Democrat district, Hunter won the Congressional seat.
Hunter's first assignment in Congress was to the House Armed Services Committee, where he is presently Ranking Member. Hunter focuses his national security efforts on providing the President the resources he needs to win the nation's military conflicts, modernization initiatives that quickly move new and effective technologies into the field, making the Department of Defense more efficient by moving resources from redundant and unnecessary bureaucracy to warfighting capabilities, and strongly supporting our nation's military personnel and their families by ensuring that they are well-compensated and well-equipped with safe and effective weapons and equipment. Prior to his current position as Ranking Member, Hunter served as Chairman of the full committee from 2003-2007, responsible for a defense budget totaling more than $500 billion. Hunter also served as Chairman of the Military Research & Development Subcommittee from 2001-2002 and the Subcommittee on Military Procurement from 1995-2000, where he presided over $60 billion for the acquisition of military weapon systems and components.
Having a district located in the California-Mexico border region, Hunter has made border enforcement a major priority. In 1988, Hunter authored legislation making the military the lead agency in illegal drug interdiction and was successful in obtaining military units for building roads and fencing along the U.S. border with Mexico. Over 40 miles of fencing and border infrastructure have been constructed to date. Additionally, Hunter passed legislation in 1995 to authorize an additional 5,000 Border Patrol agents in response to the Clinton Administration's budget which attempted to cut agency resources. Hunter remains committed to sealing the U.S. border to illegal alien and drug trafficking, ensuring that the region remains safe for communities on both sides of the international boundary.
Hunter's other legislative priorities include fulfilling promises to our nation's veterans, providing tax relief to America's working families, and continuing cleanup efforts at the New River and Salton Sea in Imperial County, which he previously represented for 20 years.
Congressman Hunter and his wife, Lynne, live in Alpine, California. They have two sons, Duncan Duane and Sam, and four grandchildren.