Former Alaska Governor and Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has thrown her weight behind Steve Lonegan in his bid for New Jersey's Third Congressional District seat.

Sarah Palin (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The endorsement comes in the midst of a nasty primary race between Lonegan and fellow Republican Tom MacArthur.

Palin calls Lonegan the type of conservative leader that we need, saying he believes in the free market principles our country was founded on.

Lonegan, the former Bogota mayor, said it's truly an honor to receive Governor Palin's endorsement.

He is attempting to win the South Jersey Congressional seat following an unsuccessful run in last year's special U.S. Senate election against Cory Booker.