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Lungren Faces Challenge From Bera

Republican Congressman Dan Lungren is facing Democratic challenger Dr. Ami Bera in his bid for re-election.

District 3 includes several foothill communities, including all of Calaveras County. The race has attracted heavy donations on both sides. Dr. Bera’s campaign recently claimed to have raised $2.13 million to date. Meanwhile, Lungren’s re-election bid received a boost this month when American Crossroads, a conservative group supported by Karl Rove, spent nearly $700,000 on the race.

Many of Dr. Bera’s political advertisements have focused around a common theme entitled, “Loophole Lungren.”

In an interview with KVML News, Lungren stated that Bera’s ads have been personal attacks and not related to issues. “The disappointment is that we could have a grand debate in this district about two very different visions about where this country ought to go, and that’s not happening because it’s filled with negative ads, and it is shortchanging the people of this district,” says Lungren.

When asked about specific issues where he differs from his opponent, Lungren stated, “He (Bera) said that he would allow all the Bush tax cuts to expire, meaning there would be a huge tax increase on everybody. He thinks the healthcare bill is an important first step, and I think it is an important misstep.”

Lungren adds “I support the idea very strongly that we should repeal Obama Care, and replace it with very specific targeted programs to deal with the problems that exist. You don’t have to overturn the entire healthcare system, you just need to address the imperfections and problems.”

Multiple phone and e-mail messages were left over the past couple of weeks with the “Bera for Congress” campaign seeking an interview with Dr. Bera regarding this story, but the calls were not returned. Dr. Bera most recently served as Associate Dean for Admissions at the UC Davis School of Medicine and was the Chief Medical Officer for the County of Sacramento. Lungren was the Attorney General of California before becoming the U.S. Representative for District 3. Lungren was also a Congressional representative in Southern California during the late 1970’s and 1980’s.

It appears Lungren has a slight lead in the race. A September poll conducted by the group Public Policy Polling showed Lungren with a 46-38 percent advantage among likely voters in the district.