Lonegan admits defeat in Bridgewater
In keeping with what has been tradition since 1972, New Jersey did not vote a Republican to represent itself in the U.S. Senate.
At an election night party for Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Steve Lonegan at Bridgewater Manor in Bridgewater, N.J., the former mayor of Bogota, N.J., thanked his supporters and contemplated his lack of student support.
“As I congratulated Booker and wished him the best, I said to myself, ‘Who wants that job anyway?’” Lonegan said in his concession speech.
As of 11:30 p.m. last night, Lonegan received 579,388 votes to Senator-elect Cory Booker’s 713,594 votes.
“Unfortunately for whatever reason, the message that we delivered together with so much energy and so much passion did not win the day,” he said.
The Rutgers Eagleton Institute of Politics released a poll Oct. 14 of 798 registered N.J. voters, and Booker held a 58 percent to 36 percent lead over Lonegan.
The result of the election was similar — Booker won 55 percent to 44 percent.
Lonegan and his campaign staff lingered for 15 minutes until announcing the winner to his guests at Bridgewater Manor.
Lonegan shared his feelings of loss but went on to say he is still proud of his accomplishments in the past 20 years as mayor of Bogota.
He said he plans to go back into the private sector to start a business.
“The most noble thing you can do, aside from fighting for this country in the military, is to build a business and create real jobs,” Lonegan said.
Asked how he felt about the results, he said he was very disappointed in the results and said the campaign never got a chance to visit college campuses.
“Well, we tried to do as much as we could in the 130 days we had, but it was extremely difficult since a huge chunk of my campaign was in the summer, when the college campuses were out,” he said. “So we never even got an opportunity to get to most of those campuses where I would have liked to have done more.”
Tim Marcourt, a 17-year friend of Lonegan, expressed his opinion about Lonegan’s loss.
“I’m devastated, we really thought he had a chance,” he said. “As a lot of people don’t know he’s a three-term mayor of Bogota, N.J., where taxes there never went up one dollar. “I think he’s the kind of man we need in the U.S Senate. ... I think America lost tonight.”
Lonegan was elected mayor of Bogota in 1995, 1999 and 2003. He then joined Americans for Prosperity as state director of the New Jersey chapter in 2006, according to his campaign website.
According to his platform, Lonegan is an advocate for low taxes and elimination of wasteful spending. He was also one of the earliest opponents of the Affordable Care Act and recent mandates allowing gay marriage in certain states.
Lonegan closed his speech by saying he and his team put together a phenomenal campaign over the last four months.
“The big Washington power groups and consultants said we couldn’t win. Well, maybe if they had played a role in this election, we would have won,” he said.
The crowd cheered in appreciation as they watched the defeated candidate walk off stage and thank them.
“We rode this election near victory on the backs of giants, and that’s you guys.” he said.