Lonegan backs Bell in U.S. Senate race

Jeff Bell and Steve Lonegan, New Jersey Republicans running for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, respectively, endorsed each other today in a joint statement. Lonegan, who is running in NJ-3, was the GOP nominee against Cory Booker in the special Senate election last year. 

In his endorsement, Steve Lonegan said, “Jeff Bell blazed a path for New Jersey conservatives in the Reagan era and now he’s back to challenge a very vulnerable incumbent, Cory Booker. He has my full support.”

Lonegan told Politicker that he and Bell “go way back.”

The failed 1977 candidate for U.S. Senate, thrashed in the general election by Bill Bradley after deposing the late Clifford Case, Bell in his endorsement noted, “”Steve Lonegan is one of the most talented advocates of the conservative cause in the northeast. He isn’t afraid of anybody – and that will include congressional bigwigs when he goes to Washington. He is absolutely the best candidate in this race.” 

Lonegan said Bell called him requesting the endrosement and he complied.

Another candidate for U.S. Senate, Ramapo Professor Murray Sabrin, not only sat on his hands while Lonegan ran last year, but openly criticized him; irked that the former Bogota mayor had not backed him in his 2008 Senate bid.

After their rocky history together, Sabrin was not going to get Lonegan’s support.

Bell also got Lonegan to smother any effort by Chris Isola – not that he’s actively seeking it, or even seeking a senate seat – to claim Lonegan’s backing statewide.

Deprived of the backing of the Ocean County GOP Screening Committee on Saturday, Isola’s name headed up the consolation prize flagpole this week as a potential U.S. Senate candidate.

Lonegan backs Bell in U.S. Senate race