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Lungren Tells Interest in Filling Unruh's Post

September 04, 1987|CLAUDIA LUTHER | Times Political Writer

Rep. Daniel E. Lungren (R-Long Beach) has added his name to the list of those who would like to be named state treasurer by Gov. George Deukmejian to replace Jesse Unruh, who died Aug. 4.

Lungren, 40, whose congressional district includes part of northwest Orange County, said Thursday he had a "long talk" Wednesday by phone with fellow Republican Deukmejian regarding the appointment.

Others in Orange County who have been mentioned as possibilities for the job are Sens. Marian Bergeson (R-Newport Beach) and John Seymour (R-Anaheim).

The post is considered attractive for an up-and-coming Republican because the treasurer is elected statewide. Deukmejian is the only Republican holding statewide office in Sacramento, so the treasurer job is perceived as a possible springboard for a run for governor in 1994.

The appointment is considered politically delicate because either the Assembly or the Senate--both of which have Democratic majorities--may veto the governor's choice.

Lungren, a congressman for nine years, is considered by some Sacramento insiders to be a good prospect for the appointment, partly because his family has long been supportive of Deukmejian, who started his political career in Long Beach, Lungren's hometown.

Lungren's brother, Brian Lungren, 33, was the No. 2 person in the governor's 1986 reelection effort and later worked in the Deukmejian Administration as special assistant chief of staff. He is now executive director of the governor's Citizens for Common Sense, a grass-roots political action committee.

While he would not disclose what had been said, Brian Lungren said the governor had talked with him about possible appointees, as he has with other staff members and advisers.

Rep. Lungren is a lawyer who is known in Washington for his conservatism and his tirades against the Democratic leadership, from whom he gets grudging respect. He worked with the opposition party on the controversial Simpson-Mazzoli immigration bill that was defeated in Congress in 1985.

According to the governor's office, Deukmejian does not expect to announce his choice for treasurer before the current legislative session's end, scheduled Sept. 11. The Legislature has 90 days to confirm the appointment. If the 90 days elapse during the legislative interim, the Legislature has six days in which to confirm the appointment on its return in January.

"My impression is it is going to be a slow, deliberative process, and with good cause," said Seymour, who sent a letter to Deukmejian expressing his interest. "Whoever is chosen will have to withstand a grueling grilling by the Democrats in the confirmation process."

Also interested in the job are Senate GOP Leader Ken Maddy of Fresno and Republican Sens. Robert G. Beverly of Manhattan Beach, William Campbell of Hacienda Heights and Jim Ellis of San Diego.

Non-legislators who have been mentioned are Tom Stickle, a Deukmejian supporter from San Diego and state Republican Party finance chairman, and Karl M. Samuelian, the governor's longtime friend and campaign finance director.

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