Addiego Responds to LoCicero’s Dismissal of Her Lonegan Concerns
Lavallette Mayor Walter LoCicero lavished praise on his borough's newest resident, Congressional hopeful Steve Lonegan, when the former Bogota leader declared his intention Thursday in Toms River. But one Republican's reluctance drew his criticsm. Now, Medford-based State Senator Dawn Marie Addiego (R-8) lobs a salvo in return.
The Senator issued an open letter to LoCicero Friday, which we reproduce here:
Dear Mayor LaCicero,
I read your response to my statement about Mayor Steve Lonegan’s campaign kickoff yesterday in a handful of media outlets, and must admit being confused at why you would consider it “unbecoming a State Senator” for me to simply speak my mind about a critical choice facing Republicans. I hope you don’t have a problem with strong women in our party taking a stand for what they believe in.
I also found it quite hypocritical of you to accuse me of violating Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment in defense of a candidate who is infamous for his scathing attacks on fellow Republicans over a string of losing primary races. In fact, Mayor Lonegan was quoted as saying the following when previewing his 2009 Gubernatorial Primary against Governor Chris Christie:
“If the primary ends up being a hard hitting, bloody battle, well so be it.” http://blog.nj.com/njv_publicblog/2009/01/controversey_brews_over_gop_ca.html
Most importantly, though, is that the central theme of your argument for Mayor Lonegan’s candidacy – that he has had “tremendous success” as a candidate – is just plain false.
As I stated yesterday, Mayor Lonegan has lost races for Congress, Governor (twice) and most recently U.S. Senate. Moreover, none of those losses have even been close. Given that track record of failure, what makes you think he can win a race in one of the country’s most competitive swing districts?
Your attempt to claim that Mayor Lonegan’s performance in 2013 was more impressive than Congressman Runyan’s victory over the late John Adler in 2010 (the only time in recent memory that a challenger from either party defeated an incumbent Congressman in New Jersey) is laughable to anyone with a basic understanding of campaigns and elections.
Moreover, Rep. Runyan’s 9-point win over his Democratic opponent in 2012, in a district that President Obama won by nearly 5-points, made Runyan one of just a handful of Republicans nationally to win a congressional district also won by the President. Again, the Mayor’s 2013 effort isn’t comparable.
Most concerning of all to us, though, was Mayor Lonegan’s dreadful performance against then Newark Mayor Cory Booker in last year’s special election in Burlington County. He lost towns we consider Republican strongholds like Moorestown and Mount Laurel, while barely winning others like Evesham and Cinnaminson. Worse, Mayor Lonegan was beaten soundly in key swing towns like Bordentown Township, Delanco, Delran and Lumberton – all towns won by Congressman Runyan in 2012.
To really drive the point home, note that just three weeks after Mayor Lonegan lost Burlington County by 11-points, Governor Christie and Republican Freeholder Director Joe Donnelly won it by 20.
In closing, I stand by my comments yesterday: Mayor Lonegan’s caustic comments towards cancer patients and Hurricane Sandy victims; his desire to do away with Social Security and Medicare; his stated plan to raise taxes on the poor; and his actually referring to himself as a ‘right wing radical’ as just a few examples of why his candidacy in the general election would be disastrous for Republicans up and down the ballot.
Dawn Marie Addiego
State Senator, 8th Legislative District