Another prominent N.J. Republican backs Lonegan in U.S. Senate race

 U.S. Senator Jeff Chiesa today endorsed Steve Lonegan. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

U.S. Senator Jeff Chiesa today endorsed Steve Lonegan. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

Republican candidate Steven Lonegan has another high-profile endorsement in the race for a U.S. Senate seat from New Jersey.

A day after Gov. Chris Christie expressed support for Lonegan, the man Christie selected to fill Frank Lautenberg’s seat until the Oct. 16 special election has also offered his support to the campaign.

At a Wednesday event with the candidate in Toms River, Sen. Jeff Chiesa says he agrees with Lonegan, the former mayor of Bogota in North Jersey, that the nation has a spending problem.

“Just like the families in New Jersey, we can’t, as a country, spend money that we don’t have,” he said. “When you listen to Mayor Lonegan talk about this, you watch what Mayor Lonegan did for his community as the Mayor, he held spending in check.”

Lonegan says the endorsements are showing his campaign is gaining momentum.

“There’s a real energy on the ground that I feel everywhere I go. Everywhere I go, there’s packed houses and it’s summer,” he said. “I mean it’s August, and you don’t see this in August, but we’re seeing it everywhere.”

A Monmouth University poll shows Democrat Cory Booker with a 16-point lead in the Senate race, but Lonegan believes his campaign is gaining ground. After Christie’s endorsement, Lonegan said, money for his campaign is coming in from all over the country.

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