Vote Lonegan

Author: Rory B. Bellows

In Tomorrow’s Republican Primary Steve Lonegan is the choice. I know all the arguments in favor of Chris Christie. He is a decent candidate and a decent man. But conservatives have a once in a lifetime chance to put a real deal conservative on the ballot who enters the general election with a legitimate chance to win. New Jerseyans have so soured on Jon the Taxer that public opinion polls show Steve Lonegan also leads him in head to head matchups. If Lonegan wins, this is not the pre-ordained slaughter the McGreevey-Schundler matchup was in 2001.

The issues New Jersey voters care about are in Lonegan’s wheelhouse. Voters today are concerned about property taxes and budget deficits. Lonegan is the only candidate, in either party, who speaks seriously on these issues. Chrisitie and Corzine want to continue the property tax rebate gimmick that does little more than redistribute wealth. Only Lonegan is talking about funding schools on a per pupil basis and end the looting of surbuban Republican areas to pay for schools in urban democratic areas. Only Lonegan is campaigning on ending the Orwellian Council on Affordable Housing which only serves to make housing unaffordable and property taxes to rise.

In any other environment Lonegan’s ideas would be easy picking for Democrats in a general election. But much like the public in the 2008 election, New Jersey voters are tired of 8 years of incompetent one party rule. It’s why Corzine trails an unknown conservative like Lonegan in the polls despite the Democrats having a natural 13 point edge in party identification.

If Christie is nominated, Republicans will not be rallying around a cause so much as they are rallying around the idea of Jon Corzine no longer in the Governor’s mansion. There is no vision of what Christie would do as Governor for us to support. We’ll be expected to support him because he has a R next to his name and nothing else. Lonegan offers a chance to be a legitimate check on the out of control Democratic legislature and advance some policy prescriptions that could demonstrate the effectiveness of low tax, limited government and pro-growth policies. Lonegan will not turn New Jersey into Utah but he could move the ball forward for the Republican Party in the state of New Jersey, something that the establishment candidates have failed to do election after election.

Vote Lonegan on June 2.

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