Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., pleaded guilty Tuesday to misusing campaign funds for personal expenses during in San Diego federal court.

Hunter's trial was set for January, but the congressman decided to change his plea to guilty. He faces a possible five years in prison.

"I think it's important not to have a public trial for three reasons, and those three reasons are my kids," Hunter told independent telivision station KUSI, citing the toll a trial would take on his family. "It's hard enough being the kids of a public figure. I think it's time for them to live life outside the spotlight. But it's been a privilege to serve in Congress for 11 years."

Prosecutors allege the congressman and wife Margaret directed $250,000 worth of campaign funds to personal spending. She pleaded guilty earlier this year.

The indictment details a range of personal expenses the Hunters are alleged to have used campaign funds to cover such purchases as fast food, movie tickets, dental work, golfing, and video games. The Hunters were badly in debt, and had overdrawn from their bank account over 1,100 times, prosecutors said.

Hunter said he would resign from Congress, and expected to spend at least some time behind bars. However, he said he hopes his wife can avoid jail time.

"I think my kids need a mom in the home," he said. 

The part of San Diego that Hunter represents was previously represented by his father, who shares the same name. A member of the Hunter family has represented the area for 39 years.

Hunter said he hopes that the district will remain in Republican hands. In 2018, he narrowly carried it over Democratic opponent Ammar Campa-Najjar, winning with 51.7% of the vote to the Democrat's 48.3% of the vote. Campa-Najjar already has announced he will be running for the seat again next year.