HE’S BACK: Lonegan’s CD5 announcement planned for Thursday

Steve Lonegan is back in the hunt, Save Jerseyans.

This time?

He’s running for the seat formerly held by Scott Garrett.

According to an invitation received by Save Jersey (and subsequently confirmed by a source close to Lonegan), the former Bogota Mayor’s announcement of a 2018 New Jersey 5th Congressional District campaign is planned for 11 o’clock a.m. on Thursday at Paramus’s Courtyard Marriott.

Lonegan’s career seeking political office is extensive as all of our regular readers are well aware; most recently, he unsuccessfully ran to fill Frank Lautenberg’s vacated U.S. Senate seat versus Cory Booker and then for the House of Representatives in New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District versus Tom MacArthur. Lonegan built up a statewide following before his 2009 gubernatorial run as the then-head of AFP-New Jersey and the voice of that organization’s “Taxpayer Minute” radio segments.

The former Bogota mayor can claim personal and professional ties to this district where he served as a local elected official and businessman for many years.

Back at 30,000 feet, the CD5 GOP field is still forming after a couple of desired recruits declined to enter the fray. Whomever emerges from the Republican primary will face freshman Josh Gottheimer, a Clinton World figure running in a lean-red district but one for which he’s been able to amass an impressive war chest (breaking the $750,000 fundraising mark in 2017’s first quarter).

Rep. Gottheimer’s most likely challenger?

TBD. CD5’s Western GOP power brokers appear to be coalescing for the most part behind Warren County Freeholder Jason J. Sarnoski while Lonegan may get a Bergen home turf fight from former Republican councilman and attorney John McCann, an ally of chairman Paul DiGaetano who, coincidentally, is also very tight with Lonegan.