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Opponent Is a First-Timer : Rep. Lungren Rides Wave of Popularity

November 02, 1986|BOB WILLIAMS | Times Staff Writer

Republican Daniel E. Lungren, who has been in the national spotlight lately as a key figure in pushing immigration reform legislation through the 99th Congress, expects the success to add to his popularity on the home front.

"The people in my district asked for this legislation," said the four-term congressman from Long Beach.

It's not that Lungren, 40, especially needed an extra boost to assure him of a fifth term in the 42nd Congressional District seat. He walked off with 73% of the votes in 1984, or 20% more than the number of voting Republicans in the coastal district.

The district, which has 165,582 voters, takes in south Torrance, the Palos Verdes Peninsula and parts of Lomita and San Pedro, then runs along a narrow strip through Long Beach to conservative strongholds in Orange County.

Lungren's stand on other issues also appears to sit well with his constituents. He has consistently backed President Reagan, who received 72% of the district's vote in 1984, on everything from spending for military defense and intervention in Nicaragua to cutting back on welfare programs and curbing crime.

Democratic Opponent

Lungren's Democratic opponent is Michael P. Blackburn, 41, a Long Beach attorney. In his first try for public office, Blackburn is advocating a "Common Market of the Americas" as a solution to a host of domestic and foreign problems.

He said trade deficits and debt burdens could be cleared by his plan, modeled after the European Common Market, for "jump-starting" Latin America into the 21st Century.

That could be accomplished, he said, by heavier investments of American technology and other resources in the Latin countries, which then would become much better customers for U.S. goods.

Immigration pressures would ease as people in those countries began to enjoy higher standards of living, he said.

Advocate of Socialism

The Peace and Freedom candidate is Kate McClatchy, 25, a Long Beach kindergarten teacher who also instructs bilingual classes. She favors setting up a socialist economic system "based on filling human needs, rather than exploitation and profit."

McClatchy said she supports "total disarmament, even if it has to be unilateral," and an end to the Reagan Administration's "illegal war" in Nicaragua.

The candidate, who writes poetry on socialist-feminist themes, said the country also needs to rid itself of prejudices against homosexuals and other minorities.

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