Formally kicking off his U.S. Senate campaign at his home in Bogota, Steve Lonegan said Gov. Chris Christie’s choice to fill the vacant seat of the late U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) did not surprise him, and called the choice “perfectly fine.”
“I think the governor has handled this well,” said the former mayor of Bogota and 2009 candidate for governor.
Energized by his early petition gathering efforts, Lonegan said he believes the governor’s decision to call for an open primary this year will galvanize the conservative base.
PolitickerNJ.com asked Lonegan why the Tea Party wing of the party appeared weak on Tuesday night. In Burlington and on the Bayshore, would-be flare-ups of renegade Republican strength turned into fragmented causes and Election Night losses.
“I wasn’t running,” Lonegan cracked. “Look, these types of primaries are difficult, and individuals are often unprepared for typical elections where the party line is so important.
“An open primary is a different animal,” the U.S. Senate candidate added.
He said he relishes the chance to get through the primary to attack Democrats on Dodd Frank, cap and trade, Obamacare and the Benghazi debacle.
“Let them put up whoever they like,” said the head of Americans for Prosperity’s New Jersey chapter (AFP Spokesman Mike Proto said Lonegan left the position in April).
During his press conference this afternoon, Christie slapped down a question about the unfairness of the shortened runway for candidates to collect signatures.
This coming Monday is the deadline.
“I could not agree more,” Lonegan said. “It’s a U.S. Senate seat, if you don’t have enough people you can get to sign petitions you shouldn’t be running. I give this guy credit. After we file on Monday I will reach out to him.”
Lonegan said longtime ally Michael Byrne is serving as his campaign manager.
“I expect to file with more than 1,000 signatures,” the candidate said. “I have raised $25k in two days alone. We are just now pulling this campaign together and I will raise millions because we expect a slugfest.”
After weeks of speculation, the direction of the Newark mayoral race may take an important turn today as prominent members of the Payne political family gather at Newark's Robert Treat Hotel at 11:30 a.m.
The campaign of Newark mayoral candidate Shavar Jeffries has called a press conference at which both U.S. Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-10) and Essex County deputy chief of staff and former state Assemblyman William D. Payne will be present.Read More >
Days Since Last Christie Press Conference (Jan. 9)
Greenstein versus Watson Coleman in Princeton PRINCETON – When Princeton Community Democratic Organization (PCDO) Chairman Jim Durbin announced a second ballot runoff tonight and the losers headed for the back of the room, he alerted committee members to the names of the two surviving competitors. But people already...
By Suzanne M. Walters When unions representing local police and firefighters cannot agree to new contract terms with local governments, State law mandates that the parties submit to binding arbitration. A third-party referee, then, sets the... Read More >
"The governor has allowed political cronyism to continue and even flourish, rather than stamp it out, with some of his closest confidants enriching themselves through millions of dollars in state contracts, and legal and lobbying fees, an Asbury Park Press review of thousands of pages of campaign, lobbying and contracting documents found."- The Asbury Park Press
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