Politics

Chris Christie Endorses Tea Party Favorite and Koch Operative Steve Lonegan for Senate

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht
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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Tuesday endorsed Republican Senate nominee Steve Lonegan, the Tea Party favorite and former New Jersey head for the Koch Brothers’ Americans for Prosperity.

Lonegan ran an unsuccessful primary campaign against Christie in 2009. At the time he said, “It’s clear to me that Mr. Christie is in over his head.”

Despite Lonegan being touted as the more conservative gubernatorial candidate, Christie agrees with him on most key issues, according to ThinkProgress

Both strongly oppose same sex marriage, support the defunding of Planned Parenthood, deny climate-change science, decry Obamacare, oppose the DREAM Act for undocumented youth in New Jersey, support private school vouchers, and oppose new gun control legislation.

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In June, Christie said his concern with his own reelection, not on Lonegan’s senate race, the Huffington Post reported. Tuesday Christie said he plans to help raise money for Lonegan, who is facing an uphill struggle against Democrat Cory Booker during the Oct. 16 special election.

The former mayor of Bogota, N.J., Lonegan ran two failed gubernatorial campaigns in 2005 and 2009. For seven years he has served at the head of the New Jersey chapter of Americans for Prosperity, a conservative political action group founded by oil billionaire David Koch and a member of the Koch Industries board, Richard Fink. The group is against unions, Obamacare, and emissions regulations. AFP’s organizing single-handedly gave rise to the Tea Party.

Lonegan told the Huffington Post that the Koch Brothers did not fund the new Jersey Chapter of Americans for Prosperity.

Sources: Huffington Post, ThinkProgress