Steve Lonegan fired a clear and direct warning shot at Chris Christie today, suggesting that the endorsement he offered in his concession speech one week ago is based upon the continuation of his conservative agenda during his general election campaign against Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine. But if Christie seeks a move to the political center, as many GOP primary winners do in New Jersey, he could alienate Lonegan and his core political supporters.
One interpretation of Lonegan’s intentions: that Christie needs to proceed with caution as he considers pro-choice running mates. State Sen. Diane Allen (R-Edgewater Park) and Bergen County Clerk Kathleen Donovan are reportedly the leading candidates for Lt. Governor on the GOP ticket. Instead, some Lonegan backers are telling Christie to look at three other candidates: Assemblywoman Alison McHose (R-Franklin) and Monmouth County Sheriff Kim Guadagno.
Lonegan is taking some heat from supporters for his conciliatory primary night endorsement of Christie, according to sources close to the former Bogota Mayor. Also taking some heat is New Jersey Right to Life (NJRTL) Legislative Affairs Director Marie Tasy, whom some Lonegan supporters insist backed Christie. Sources say that Tasy stopped returning Lonegan’s telephone calls in January, and even prevented Lonegan volunteers from handing out literature at a NJRTL dinner.
"She sent the cops out and threatened arrest," one observer said.