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Sensing Vulnerability, Lungren Backpedals on Stimulus Vote

On Tuesday, the much anticipated funds for so-called ‘shovel ready’ infrastructure projects made their first appearance in Sacramento County with ground breaking ceremonies for a Rancho Cordova road improvement project.

One of the dignitaries on hand at the ceremony was the California 3rd Congressional district representative, Republican Dan Lungren. At a nearby press conference, Lungren said he was pleased with the project.

Lungen, a longtime deficit hawk, said that he thought spending on “simple infrastructure” was laudable. Lungren voted against President Obama’s stimulus package that won approval last winter.

Lungren’s change of heart might be related to the fact that the Democratic Congressional Candidate (DCCC) has identified that Lungren as vulnerable to defeat in the 2010 congressional midterm elections. Indeed, Obama won the traditionally Republican 3rd district last fall and Lungren was unable to win a majority in his victory over under-funded opponent, Dr. Bill Durston.

The irony of Lungren’s statement was not lost on the DCCC’s Western Region press secretary Andy Stone.

“After just saying no to the economic recovery package, then returning home to promote its benefits, Congressman Dan Lungren’s pattern of saying one thing in Washington and something different in California is crystal clear,” said Stone. “Two different times, Lungren could have supported the Coloma Rd. project and other road projects throughout Sacramento and Amador Counties, but both times he voted no.”

While there are no announced opponents for Lungren’s party nomination, three Democrats, Dr. Ami Bera of Elk Grove, Elk Grove City Council member Gary Davis and SMUD director Bill Slaton are seeking their party’s nomination to challenge the Gold River Republican.

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