Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Dan Lungren looks back at nearly two decades in Congress

Former Congressman Dan Lungren, 66, doesn't have immediate plans because he hadn't planned on losing his re-election bid in November.

The new Congress was sworn in this week, but one veteran lawmaker missing was Dan Lungren, who served constituents in both Northern and Southern California.

The Republican spent ten years in the House representing his native Long Beach, ran and won the state Attorney General’s job, then ran again in 2005 to represent a Sacramento district. But he was defeated in November by a Democrat.

Lungren ended nearly two decades on Capitol Hill exactly where he started: in the same two-room Longworth House Office Building suite. Back in 1979, Lungren says this was freshman turf— a small office for him and, next door, a room for his receptionist, some staff, and his personal assistant ("At that time we called them secretary"). His entire legislative staff was in an office on another floor. A slightly fancier office now houses the boss of the House Administration Committee, a job Lungren has turned over to a new chairman.