Assemblyman Drops His Bid to Succeed Lungren

Times Staff Writer

Because of concerns about his family life, Assemblyman Gerald N. Felando (R-San Pedro) said Friday night that he plans to withdraw from the developing race to succeed Long Beach Rep. Daniel E. Lungren and will instead seek reelection to the Legislature.

It was a sudden reversal for Felando, whose campaign was given a boost last month when Assemblyman Dennis Brown (R-Signal Hill) withdrew from the contest for the seat in Lungren's 42nd District, which stretches from Torrance and the Palos Verdes Peninsula to Huntington Beach. Republican Lungren is waiting for the Legislature to confirm his nomination as state treasurer.

Felando said that after he entered the race he began to have second thoughts. Felando, 53, said that after a recent fund-raising trip to Washington, he concluded that commuting to the nation's capital would be an undue burden on his relationship with his wife and 8-year-old stepson.

'No. 1 Reason'

In an interview, Felando citied his "personal family life" as "the No. 1 reason" for withdrawing from the congressional race. He said if he was living in Washington and commuting home it "would put a strain on my family."

Felando said that next week he will file his papers to run for reelection to the Assembly. Felando has scheduled a Capitol press conference for Monday morning to discuss his plans.

Gov. George Deukmejian last year appointed Lungren, his hometown congressman, to succeed the late Jesse M. Unruh. Lungren repeatedly has expressed optimism that both houses of the Legislature will confirm him before he has to make a decision on whether to run for reelection.

But Felando's withdrawal could add to the mounting speculation that Lungren's appointment is in trouble. Earlier in the week, 18 Democrats announced their intention to oppose Lungren's confirmation when it goes to the Assembly floor sometime next month.

In anticipation of Lungren winning confirmation, Felando and Orange County Supervisor Harriett M. Wieder have been actively campaigning. In addition, three other Republicans have voiced an interest in the seat.

Felando, a dentist, was elected to the Assembly in 1978.

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