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Lungren to challenge Boehner

From NBC's Mike Viqueira
At a press conference today, Rep. Dan Lungren (R) announced a long-shot bid to unseat GOP Rep. John Boehner as House minority leader. Leadership elections are penciled in for next Wednesday.

Lungren says that the party is too arrogant; that it needs to return to fiscal discipline and small government; that it has become intoxicated by its own power to the detriment of conservative principles; and that it has lost touch with the kitchen table concerns of average Americans. He adds that he has nothing against John Boehner.

For his part, Boehner offers the following comment: "Dan Lungren is a respected member of our conference and a man deeply committed to the principles that have defined our party since the beginning."

Lungren is typically not among those mentioned as candidates for House GOP leadership. His presser today got off to an inauspicious start as Capitol Police had to lock down the hall in Rayburn where his office is located in order to investigate a suspicious package nearby, thereby delaying the Lungren announcement.

Once begun, the presser was sparsely attended.