Congressional Candidate Airs Advertisement Critical of Opponent’s Opposition To Abortion Rights
Democratic congressional candidate Gabe Castillo this week began airing an advertisement on cable television stations that addresses Republican Dan Lungren's opposition to abortion rights, the Sacramento Bee reports. Castillo and Lungren are seeking the 3rd Congressional District seat of retiring Rep. Doug Ose (R-Calif.).
The ad states that Lungren could meet a dictionary definition of an "extremist" and features a scene of a woman unloading groceries. She states, "Dan Lungren tried to take away my rights as a woman, even if I'm a victim of rape or incest," adding, "We don't need extremists in Congress."
Castillo, a Sacramento businessman and supporter of abortion rights, said the ad will air about 400 times.
According to the Bee, abortion is an issue that has been "raised against Lungren many times." Lungren, a former California attorney general and the Republican nominee for governor in 1998, served in the U.S. House of Representatives prior to his election as attorney general in 1990. While in Congress, Lungren cosponsored an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would have criminalized abortion, including in cases of rape or incest, the Bee reports.
Wayne Johnson, a political consultant to Lungren, said that Lungren's position on abortion has changes since he cosponsored the amendment. According to Johnson, in the gubernatorial race, Lungren indicated that "while he would counsel any woman who came to him for advice against having an abortion, as a matter of practical law, rape and incest would be exceptions."
Robert Molnar, Lungren's campaign manager, said, "We want to focus on serious issues of the day, such as national security and the economy," adding, "We don't want to be dragged into a tit-for-tat on an issue Mr. Lungren has not been campaigning on."
Castillo said, "We found that [abortion rights] is a real solid message that solidifies the Democratic base and resonates with 22% of Republican women in the district." He added, "You can see why. We are talking about fundamental rights here" (Whitney, Sacramento Bee, 10/22).