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LA MESA -- The great themes of this November's national elections are being picked over night after night on America's cable news channels. Trump vs. Everyone. The Dem's Blue Wave. The GOP Big Red Wall. The polling is incessant and, as we learned in 2016, speculative at best.
But for the people of East County, the real import of this election season is obvious and inarguable. Either the voters of East County are going to weigh the facts, size up the candidates and make a clear and easy call or they are going to return the corrupt Rep. Duncan Hunter to Washington and become the laughingstock of America.
We believe it is time for East County to prove to itself and the rest of America that we have grown up. We are no longer willing to blindly pull the GOP lever regardless of the low quality of the candidate asking to represent us.
Hunter no longer deserves the right to represent an area that has grown both in numbers, diversity and in its increasing ability to know a con man when we meet one.
For decades, Hunter's father represented this area when its rock-ribbed GOP numbers made it impossible for anyone but a Republican to be elected. Hunter the Elder was not perfect, but he did manage to maintain his dignity and knew the difference between his money and campaign donations. He even authored legislation and brought home some pork.
Duncan The Younger has proved that Darwin was wrong; each generation does not surpass the quality of the previous one.
His misuse of campaign money and his willingness to blame his wife have overshadowed the fact that he has spent his time in Washington largely partying, flirting, drinking and adding his name to others' legislation to give the appearance of engagement in our interests.
When he was recently indicted, he even lacked the class to acknowledge his failures and step aside. Adding more tarnish to his father's legacy, he has now stooped to assuming East County constituents can be scared to continue supporting him by using racist taunts to label his opponent as a foreign threat. Hunter's cynicism is only exceeded by his obvious belief that East County voters are stupid.
Not everyone in East County votes in the 52nd Congressional District. But you can be sure, if voters fail to end the Hunter Era in November, Hunter will have extended the view some of held of East County as a home to unthinking rubes. And not because Hunter intends to keep on working for his district's voters.
More likely, a victory will give Hunter a bargaining chip with prosecutors and his party's leadership as his trial approaches. "Drop or greatly reduce the charges, and I will agree to step down'' is a typical ploy for lawmakers caught with their hands in the cookie jars of public money.
Hunter should drop out of the race now and apologize to his constituents and his children. Lacking that, the voters of East County should do the right thing; vote for Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar, a man whose integrity and history of public service far exceeds that of the disreputable and tainted Duncan Hunter.
East County deserves much better than Duncan Hunter. We are better than this.