Running in CD5, movement conservative Steve Lonegan says he will beat John McCann in the GOP Primary – and by extension Bergen County GOP Chairman Paul DiGaetano – and he will take a particular satisfaction in meting out that punishment to a pair of Republicans he sees as little more than treacherous, wolf in sheep’s clothing purveyors of Democratic Party politics.
McCann got the line in Passaic last week, and will have Bergen’s GOP line as a result of DiGaetano’s executive privilege.
Lonegan told InsiderNJ that DiGaetano’s support for McCann amounts to the final, fatal indignity of a chair who might as well walk around with a white flag raised whenever he sees Bergen County Democratic Committee Chairman Lou Stellato or one of Stellato’s functionaries.
“John McCann worked for Bergen County Democrat Sheriff Mike Saudino, then walked out with a big fat check last year,” said Lonegan, noting the role he says McCann played in advising, or at the very least rolling over in his role as sheriff’s office counsel and allowing Saudino to change party affiliation from Republican to Democrat. “Saudino and Josh Gottheimer were celebrating victory and now you’ve got John McCann, who was singlehandedly responsible for destryong the reelection of Kathe Donovan, running for Congress, and the chairman, DiGaetano, is rewarding someone who should be punished.
“It’s never been done before, and it’s a move by DiGaetano that has completely demoralized the base of the Republican Party in Bergen,” Lonegan added.
But the CD5 Republican looking to brush aside McCann so that he can get to incumbent U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-5) says ultimately he’s fine with having ham-handed political opponents.
“We’ll beat McCann,” he said. “It’s a simple campaign. I believe Paul DiGaetano and John McCann are in bed with the Democrats. It’s either corrupt, Democrat Party politics or a party based on conservative principals. The people will decide.”
Asked if he backs a successor to DiGaetano, Lonegan says he’s not focused on the chairmanship at this time.
“I’m focused on a big, very competive congressional race,” said the candidate. “I never entered this race thinking about the chairmanship. The only reason we’re talking about it now is because McCann and DiGaetano have diverted our resources so that we have to go out of our way on our way to get to Gottheimer and run over them in the primary.”
The candidate sad he is a little tired at having to hear McCann harp on Lonegan’s losses.
“He runs around saying ‘Lonegan lost, Lonegan lost,’ but I took on big battles. I defeated Cory Booker in the 5th District,” he said, referring to the relevant piece of his 2013 statewide U.S. Senate bid. “I helped defeat Corzine’s toll hike scheme. The reality is I’ve lost one general election in 20 years [and won two], and Cory Booker could be the Democrats’ next presidential candidate. We will beat McCann in the primary.”
He will run a full slate in Bergen, not because he wants to, he said, but because he must.
“It was never my intention, and it’s nothing personal against the guys who are running, but we have to,” Lonegan said. “We’ve got the message and the money.”
As for President Donald J. Trump’s stewardship, “I’m thrilled with the job he’s doing,” said the former Mayor of Bogota.