Hunter formally resigned from Congress in a letter (pdf) sent to Newsom earlier this week, after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to misuse campaign funds weeks ago.
On Wednesday, the governor’s office said it will not hold a special election to fill Hunter’s seat—leaving it vacant until after the November general election.
“The Governor’s Office received Rep. Hunter’s resignation letter. Based on the timing of the resignation, a special election will not be called,” Newsom spokeswoman Vicky Waters told the Los Angeles Times in an email.
Hunter, 43, pleaded guilty to one of the 60 counts against him, reported KUSI News.
He faces a potential five-year prison term and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced in March. His wife and former campaign treasurer, Margaret, already admitted to her role in the scandal and also faces a five-year prison term and a $250,000 fine.
The two were indicted in August 2018 for misusing at least $250,000 in campaign funds.
Republicans running for the seat have criticized Newsom’s decision to leave the 50th Congressional District—which includes much of San Diego County’s eastern and northern regions as well as a small portion of Riverside County—without a representative for an entire year.
Former San Diego city councilman Carl DeMaio, who is running for the seat, called the governor’s decision to skip a special election “wholly unacceptable.”
“It’s outrageous that Gov. Newsom is leaving #CA50 without a Member of Congress—their voice in Washington—for a full year, he said in a statement on Twitter. “Gavin Newsom is denying the fundamental right for these residents to have the voice they deserve in Congress.”
Other than DeMaio, other candidates running for the seat include former Rep. Darrell Issa and state Sen. Brian Jones, both Republicans, and Ammar Campa-Najjar, a Democrat.
Epoch Times reporter Jack Phillips contributed to this request