Some Democrats might welcome Republican Steve Lonegan's move to South Jersey.
They imagine this fiercely partisan, semi-perennial losing candidate from Bergen County has no shot at the Third Congressional District seat being vacated by Republican Jon Runyan -- or even a chance to win the GOP nomination.
But Lonegan's pugnacious and admirably tenacious 2013 U.S. Senate campaign shook some of the glitter off Cory Booker's pre-coronation pageant. And last week, the onetime Bogota mayor and ongoing Tea Party favorite confirmed rumors that he is buying a house in Lavallette, Ocean County, on what might be called the Far East Side of the sprawling Congressional district.
PolitickerNJ reported Monday that the Burlington County GOP's screening committee interviewed Lonegan and seven other potential candidates, including former Evesham Township Mayor Randy Brown, over the weekend. Meanwhile, Ed Forchion, aka the NJ Weedman, has announced he too will seek the seat, for which Democratic Burlington County freeholder Aimee Belgard is seen likely to bid as well.
Writing in the conservative blog Save Jersey, Matt Rooney notes that Lonegan enjoys higher name recognition than any other likely GOP candidate, and also has been building the foundations of such a campaign for a decade.
"Don't laugh," Rooney advises his readers.