Steve Lonegan is not going to win the GOP nomination to replace the retiring Congressman Jon Runyan in New Jersey’s third congressional district.
The party bosses in Ocean and Burlington Counties that comprise the district have settled on endorsing former Randolph Mayor Tom MacArthur. Ocean County Republicans with the stones to defy Chairman George Gilmore are lining up behind Toms River Councilman Maurice Hill, a retired Navy rear admiral. If Lonegan continues to compete for the nomination in the party conventions, he’s likely to come in third in Ocean and second in Burlington. Lonegan does not have an organization to compete with the Ocean and Burlington Republican organization should he run a primary race against MacArthur.
Lonegan should stop fighting fellow Republicans in Ocean and Burlington and come north to Monmouth and Middlesex where we need his considerable talent. If Monmouth GOP Chairman John Bennett and Middlesex GOP Chairman Sam Thompson have not been on the phone pleading with Lonegan to take on ObamaCare author Frank Pallone in the 6th Congressional district, they are missing an opportunity.
As anticipated, Save Jerseyans, the Burlington County Republican Organization sought to kill Steve Lonegan’s congressional candidacy in its cradle on Monday by giving his primary opponent, Tom MacArthur, the county line only 24 hours after we learned that Ocean County had done the same.
“Our Screening Committee, as well as our Republican Municipal Chairs, are proud to enthusiastically endorse Tom MacArthur for Congress in the Third District and will forward our recommendation to the full County Committee for their consideration,” said Screening Committee Chairman Steve Solomon in a Monday evening press release.
“Not only were we deeply impressed by Tom’s experience of helping to create jobs and prosperity for his employees and their families, but also by his vision for the future of our party and our nation,” continued Solomon. “Tom’s compelling story as a self-made success and someone who has dedicated his life to giving back to those in need made him stand out among the candidates we interviewed. We believe he will make an excellent Congressman for the people of Burlington County and the people of the Third District.”
A MacArthur victory is significant because it virtually guarantees him the line in both Ocean and Burlington counties and, with the lines, cements his front-runner status in the race to succeed Jon Runyan as CD3′s representative in Congress.
It also likely sets up a 2-way contest; only former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan (or another millionaire like Chris Isola who filed to formally explore a campaign) could hope to compete without premiere ballot position. Lonegan will stay in but no spin can hide his camp’s disappointment; the veteran political combatant now faces a hostile Burlington organization without any help from the potent Ocean outfit of Chairman George Gilmore. Name recognition is the only major advantage available to him at this juncture, though the latter could prove a double-edged sword among some base voters who dismiss Lonegan as a perennial candidate.
How many CD3 voters fit into that category? And will MacArthur present a credible alternative who can take advantage of Lonegan fatigue to the extent it exists? We’ll know for sure approximately three months from today… but why wait to speculate? Vote for your preference – Lonegan or MacArthur – in our online poll below the fold…
Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi has passed over Congressman Frank Pallone and thrown her support to Congresswoman Anna Eshoo of California in the internal Democratic caucus campaign to select the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, according to a report at TheHill.com.
Eshoo, who has served two terms in the House less than Pallone, is currently the fifth ranking Democrat on the committee. Pallone is the third ranking Democrat, behind Chairman Henry Waxman and John Dingell. Both Waxman and Dingell are retiring at the end of the 113th Congress.
Ernesto Cullariof Asbury Park said that if he can raise $30,000 in thirty days he will seek the Republican nomination to challenge Congressman Frank Pallone at the Monmouth and Middlesex Republican nominating conventions on March 22.
The conservative Justified Right columnist for the triCityNews was the Monmouth GOP endorsed candidate in the 2012 6th district primary which he lost for former Highlands Mayor Anna Little who was tabbed by the Middlesex GOP.
Former Howell Mayor Joe DiBella issued the following statement this morning:
Over the past week I have received numerous calls and inquires related to my challenging Frank Pallone for the 6th Congressional District seat. I’d like to first thank the many people who called and encouraged me to challenge Congressman Pallone. The outpouring of support and encouragement was sincerely appreciated and I put considerable time into evaluating a run for Congress.
Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden told MMM that he will not be a candidate for Congress this year.
Monmouth County Republican Chairman John Bennett has been urging Golden to take on Congressman Frank Pallone due to the sheriff’s strong record of accomplishment and his popularity at the polls.
“I would love to see Shaun Golden run for Congress, ” Bennett said earlier this month, ‘Not only is popular and a demonstrated vote getter, he has an outstanding record with a documented ability to get things done.”
Golden said that it is just not the right time for him to take on a congressional campaign.
Former Howell Mayor Joe DiBella said last week that he “would love to run against Pallone” if Golden doesn’t. Bennett told MMM that he received a message from DiBella expressing his interest. DiBella has not returned several phone calls inquiring about his candidacy from MMM this week.
This one came as a little bit of a surprise to me, Save Jerseyans, but a well-placed state house source reports that State Treasurer Andrew P. Sidamon-Eristoff is seriously considering a run for Rush Holt’s open House seat this November.
Apparently it’s a rumor with legs on the lips of equally-serious Republicans on Wednesday around the capital complex.
For those of you unfamiliar with the soft-spoken numbers wiz, back before his nomination to serve as Chris Christie’s chosen treasurer back in January 2010, Sidamon-Eristoff, a well-heeled Princeton resident and alumnus of both Princeton and Georgetown, enjoyed an extensive run in the financial industry working a private investor, corporate consultant, tax lawyer, New York City Commissioner of Finance, and even Commissioner of the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance in the mid-2000s to name a few positions.
Rush Holt (D-NJ12) stunned the New Jersey political world on Tuesday afternoon by announcing that he would NOT seek reelection in November, Save Jerseyans.
An excerpt from his letter to supporters:
“There is no hidden motive for my decision. As friends who have worked with me know, I have never thought that the primary purpose of my work was re-election and I have never intended to make service in the House my entire career. For a variety of reasons, personal and professional, all of them positive and optimistic, the end of this year seems to me to be the right time to step aside and ask the voters to select the next representative.”
Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ02) is one of 28 Republicans drawing heavy criticism for voting to raise the federal government’s debt ceiling without qualification, Save Jerseyans, but the veteran Congressman told conservative blogger Alyssa Krumm that avoiding another debt ceiling fight was in his party’s best interest:
“I know some people are not pleased with this vote but if we didn’t make a move here, this would have been an early Christmas present for the president and the Democrats. The Speaker solicited ideas from House members on what to attach to the bill. Anything substantive we would have proposed would be rejected by the president and rejected by Harry Reid in the Senate.”
Chris Smith (R-NJ05), Jon Runyan (R-NJ03), and Frank A. LoBiondo (R-NJ02) were among 28 House Republicans who voted with Democrats to pass a debt ceiling hike on Tuesday evening, Save Jerseyans, allowing the federal government to increase its borrowing limit through March 2015 without any conditions.
Leonard Lance (NJ-07) voted “no” and released the following statement:
“It is important that America pays its bills in-full and on-time. And it is equally important that in doing so we live within our means. Unfortunately the President’s most recent debt limit increase request to Congress does nothing to lower our national debt. It is a blank check at a time when our country is in dire need of fiscal restraint.
A full-on verbal fire fight is underway in CD3, Save Jerseyans, signaling what could be the beginning of a particularly bruising GOP primary. More so than even 2008.
Just what we needed!!
The latest? State Sen. Dawn Addiego (R-8) sent a letter to Mayor Walter LaCicero (R-Lavallette) on Friday taking issue with the Lonegan surrogate’s last volley (that her “Lonegan’s no Reagan” press release was “unbecoming a State Senator”) and expressing her concern that the Mayor may have issues with “strong women in our party taking a stand for what they believe in.” Double yikes…
Garry Cobb (left) and a very enthused Eagles fan on the right, a/k/a Matt Rooney
Football great Garry Cobb (R-Cherry Hill) appeared before a packed room of Camden County Republicans on Thursday evening at Haddon Township’s Tap Room bar and grill along with his gracious and lovely wife, Gwendolyn, to make it official and put the rumors to rest, Save Jerseyans: he’s running for Congress in CD1.
An official announcement/kick-off is still pending in the coming days, but as the enthused gaggle of loyal committee members mixed and mingled after the meeting, Save Jersey‘s Susanne LaFrankie, Brian McGovern and your intrepid Blogger-in-Chief had the opportunity to chat with Garry about his decision to run for Rob Andrews’s seat, the challenges ahead facing the Norcross Machine and, of particular interest for a party looking to grow, the genesis of a black Republican.
Video of our conversation is below the fold. Enjoy and please share, too…