Both GOP primary candidates in New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District can now boast a coveted designation on their respective roads to the nomination.
On Monday, attorney and former Cresskill Councilman John McCann was added to the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) ‘Young Guns’ program list.
The campaign of McCann’s intra-party opponent Steve Lonegan has frequently cited its candidate’s prior admittance to the program as a formal endorsement; in reality, the program is open to any Republican candidates (sometimes 2 or 3 in the same district) who meet certain fundraising benchmarks and, in so doing, qualify for possible national party support heading into the midterm elections.
“While the NRCC does not endorse in primaries, we are excited to include Steve Lonegan in the Young Guns Program as well as future Republican candidates who are interested in joining. We look forward to working with the eventual nominee to defeat Josh Gottheimer,” explained NRCC spokesman Chris Martin in a December 2017 e-mail to Save Jersey.
Meanwhile, Lonegan has nearly completed his sweep of NJ-05 legislative endorsements, adding Holly Schepisi (R-39) to his list of endorsers last week.
The victor in this spring’s Lonegan vs. McCann battle will face well-heeled freshman Democrat Josh Gottheimer in the fall.