Conservative activist Steve Lonegan said that Kim Guadagno’s statement that she was pro-choice today was a let down, but that it remains to be seen whether she’ll have the support of most conservatives.
“One big disappointment right out of the box is her abortion position,” said Lonegan, who lost the Republican gubernatorial primary to Chris Christie last month. “But the interesting thing was it wasn’t one of the proven liberals, and that’s a good sign. Had he picked a [Bergen County Clerk] Kathleen Donovan or [Assemblyman] Jon Bramnick, they would have totally blown off the conservative base.”
Still, Lonegan said that simply being pro-choice would be a deal breaker for many conservatives.
Lonegan noted that the state’s biggest pro-life group did not endorse anyone in the primary.
“Remember Marie Tasy and New Jersey Right to Life did not endorse in this primary. So now how do we feel? I guarantee you unequivocally, I would have chosen a good, solid pro-life lieutenant governor that reflected my views,” said Lonegan. “So maybe this is an attempt for the political insiders to appeal to everybody, to pander to both sides.”
When asked last week, Lonegan said he thought Guadagno would be a good candidate for lieutenant governor, although he noted that he was not sure where she stood ideologically.
Many conservatives like the fact that she enrolled Monmouth County in a federal program to deputize sheriff officers as immigration agents, and probably won't find fault with the opposition to gay marriage that she expressed today. But before Guadagno’s appearance with Christie today, her position on abortion was unknown.
New Jersey Right to Life Executive Director Marie Tasy could not immediately be reached for comment.
Lonegan said that he does believe social issues like abortion and gay marriage will play an important role in the election, after issues like taxes, the Council on Affordable Housing and school funding.