Here's Why Republicans Keep Stumping for the Guy Who's Losing the New Jersey Senate Race

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 18 2013 4:19 PM

Here's Why Republicans Keep Stumping for the Guy Who's Losing the New Jersey Senate Race

Last week Sen. Rand Paul Amtrak-ed up to New Jersey to campaign for Steve Lonegan's Senate bid. Outside the mid-Atlantic I'm not sure who's aware that Lonegan is challenging Democratic nominee Cory Booker. Polling, which has been sparse, puts Lonegan about 26 points behind the mayor of Newark. But Paul showed up and lit into Booker for referring to a composite drug dealer in stories: "One in four people in Newark are living in Newark, and Cory Booker has an imaginary friend named T-Bone."

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Today we learn that Lonegan will get a campaign visit from Rick Perry—a national figure, like Paul, albeit one with a more limited future. What does he have to offer them? Not much, at the moment, but Lonegan has been, since 2007, the state director of Americans for Prosperity.

So either Lonegan becomes a senator, or he's one of the most important spokesmen/leaders of one of the best-funded conservative political organizations, one directly funded by David Koch, one that recived more than $35 million from his organizations in 2012. Right—you can see why it's worth stumping for him.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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