A tea-party contender rises in New Jersey:
The Republican nominee in New Jersey’s Senate race faces plenty of challenges in October’s special election. The Garden State has 700,000 more Democrats than Republicans, and the probable Democratic nominee, Newark mayor Cory Booker, is a political celebrity with a national fundraising base.
But Steve Lonegan, the likely Republican candidate, is confident he’ll be competitive. In an interview, the former mayor of Bogota, N.J., tells me he’ll turn the race into a referendum on President Obama’s record, using issues such as Obamacare and the IRS scandal. He also believes he can galvanize conservatives to turn out in droves. “I’m a conservative who’s proud to be a conservative,” he says. “I’m not following the moderate-Republican model.”