Steve Lonegan, former mayor of Bogota in Bergen County and candidate for governor in 2005, has decided to run for the now-open 24th legislative district Senate seat, which covers all of Sussex County, parts of Warren County, and parts of Morris County.

The current senator is Steve Oroho, who unexpectedly announced his retirement recently.

Sen. Steve Oroho (Michael Symons/Townsquare Media NJ)
Sen. Steve Oroho (Michael Symons/Townsquare Media NJ)

The scramble is on for three seats as both Assembly members announced that they would not be seeking re-election.

One Assembly member, Parker Space, in a classic turnaround that we see when sports figures "fake-retire" only to come back negotiating a better contract, has decided that he wants a promotion to the Senate.

Standing in his way is Steve Lonegan. A man who headed up one of the most successful grassroots organizations in New Jersey, Americans for Prosperity.

Steve Lonegan, Brooke Lonegan, Lorraine Lonegan

Steve has been a regular guest on my shows as one of the most knowledgeable political leaders in the state when it comes to public policy. He's also legally blind and has never let that disability hold him back. He does not mince words and is clearly up for this battle.

As my friend Matt Rooney pointed out the other day, primaries are "healthy" for the state and for public policy. This primary is no different.

In a solidly "Red" district it is more critical to have a robust primary. A little bit of negativity to expose and overcome flaws that will sink or carry a candidate over the finish line. All are necessary, especially when the registration numbers indicate that a GOP victory in November is all but certain.

Too often, New Jerseyans have had to suffer the fools of elected officials who win the "secret primary" of backroom deals pushed by party bosses.

One of the reasons I'm critical of Republicans is that very few had enough backbone to challenge the governor over the course of his radical and unconstitutional lockdown and mandate frenzy.

Whomever eventually wins the race for the Senate will be stronger and more effective having to endure a bruising primary fight.

Listen to Steve Lonegan on the show here:

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.

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