SACRAMENTO, CALIF., NOV. 25 -- Gov. George Deukmejian named Rep. Daniel E. Lungren (R-Calif.) as state treasurer today to fill a vacancy created by the death of Jesse Unruh.

Lungren, 41, would succeed the four-term Unruh, one of California's most powerful politicians who transformed the largely ceremonial treasurer's office into an agency with national economic and political clout.

Unruh, a Democrat, died Aug. 4 of cancer.

The Republican governor said Lungren "is a man who is thoroughly qualified by virtue of his experience, good character and views to assume the important duties of state treasurer."

Appearing with Deukmejian at a news conference, Lungren described himself as a fiscal conservative. "I'm proud of the fact I've been rather tight-fisted in Washington," Lungren said, promising to continue that philosophy in the treasurer's office.

The appointment can be blocked by a negative vote of either house of the Democratic-controlled Legislature, according to a recent opinion by the state attorney general.

Democratic legislative leaders were cautious in their initial assessment. Senate President Pro Tem David Roberti said the Senate "will conduct a judicious review."

Deukmejian said he considered about 20 people for the $72,500-a-year post before deciding to name Lungren.