Steve Lonegan, the former mayor of Bogota who backed Ted Cruz’s unsuccessful presidential candidacy, wants to dump Donald Trump as the Republican Party’s nominee, and he thinks he will succeed.
“I think Trump is not going to be the nominee,” said Lonegan, who lost to Chris Christie in the 2009 Republican Primary for governor and to Cory Booker in the 2013 general election for U.S. Senate. He also backfired in his 2014 stab at a congressional seat in the Third District Republican Primary.
The movement conservative said early general election polling numbers coupled with Trump’s less than stellar fundraising should prompt Republicans to extricate themselves from the winner of the GOP Primary.
“He’s down in key states and he has no money,” said Lonegan. “His campaign’s FEC report is an embarrassment. Look, what we’re working for is to have a real convention; an open convention. This is not a coronation or a popularity contest. We want the delegates to be freed to vote their conscience. I hear people say he got 14 million votes. Yeah, but there were Democrats, socialists and neo Nazis who voted in those open primaries. We’re talking about Republican delegates at the convention who should be allowed to vote their conscience. We’re talking directly to the rules committee at the Republican convention. People – delegates should not be bound to vote for Trump. Free them.”
Lonegan said he’s bothered by what he sees as Trump’s ego and the presumptive nominee’s seeming belief that the party belongs to him, not the other way around.
“In New Jersey, Trump’s going to get killed,” he said. “He’s not a conservative. Every day since Indiana I’ve been waiting to hear him say something conservative. But there he is, reaching out to Bernie Sanders voters amid a campaign that is totally in chaos.
The former mayor of Bogota considered the reelection chances of his friend and ally, U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett (R-5). “I don’t think Scott Garrett loses, but I think trump hurts him badly,” Lonegan said.