Two vie for Republican nomination in special election for New Jersey Senate seat| Aug 10, 2013
As front runnerinRepublican primary, SteveLoneganadvocates limited government
SteveLoneganis the frontrunner in theRepublican nomination for New Jersey US Senator in theAug. 13primary, according to a Quinniac University poll from July, The Star-Ledger reported. Winners of Tuesday's primary will run in the October special election for the US Senate seat vacated bySen. Frank Lautenberg's death.
The pollshowedLoneganpolling at 62 percent of the vote among likely voters in the Republican primary,The Star-Ledger reported.Lonegan's Republican primary opponent, Alieta Eck, was polling at 5 percent.
Loneganwas mayor of the borough of Bogota in Bergen County from 1996 to 2008. He is currently the state director of Americans For Prosperity, a conservative group that advocates for limited government and receives funding from the billionaire Koch brothers,according to Talking Points Memo.
Originally from Teaneck,Loneganbecame legally blind after losing his eyesight to a degenerative eye disease in his youth. He began receiving disability payments from Social Security,according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Loneganplayed college football while studying business administration at William Paterson College, and then earned an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He had initially had trouble finding work after receiving his MBA, and was advised to seek greater support from government entitlement programs, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.Rather than accepting greater support, he has saidthat he became more determined to support himself.
Loneganbecame a salesman of kitchen cabinetware. He eventually bought the business himself, then moved into real estate.
While mayor of Bogota, he eliminated some municipal services and privatized some functions,according to his campaign website. He also attempted to close the local public high school and propose a referendum to make English the official language of Bogota,Talking Points Memo reported. His 2005 race for reelection was documented in the filmAnytown, USA.
In addition to his emphasis on fiscal conservatism,Lonegantold The Philadelphia Inquirerthat he is also very passionate about his pro-life position.
Loneganran unsuccessfully for a seat in the House of Representatives in 1998. He has run for the Republican nomination for governor of New Jersey twice, coming in fourth place in 2005.
The Bogota Police Department discovered in October 2007 thatLoneganhad hired two undocumented immigrants to assemble lawn signs for Americans For Prosperity in his home,The New York Times reported.Lonegansaid that the workers had told him they had proper documentation, and that the police had racially profiled the workers.
Eck runs for Republican Senate nomination on platform of dismantling Obamacare
Alieta Eck is a physician who runs a free health clinic in addition to her private practice in Piscataway Township. This race is her first run for political office. If she wins, she would become the first female US senator from New Jersey.
In a July poll by Quinnipiac University, Eck was polling at 5 percent of likely voters in the GOP primary,The Star-Ledger reported. Her opponent, former Bogota mayor SteveLoneganwas polling at 62 percent.
Eck was endorsed by the Independence Hall Tea Partyon Wednesday,The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
If elected, Eck has said she hopes to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Eckexplained to The Philadelphia Inquirerthat she believes private philanthropy through clinics is preferable to government aid as a solution to aid the uninsured. Instead of commercial health insurance, she and her husband are insured through a Christian medical cost-sharing community calledMedi-Share.According to her campaign website, she is also on Medi-Share's board.
She also supports a bill introduced in the state legislature last fall that would provide medical professionals who volunteer at free clinics with civil liability protection. As a US Senator, she would work to push this issue as a national policy as well, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Eck has questioned the truth of claims about climate change and takes a pro-life position on abortion.
She was president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons in 2012. The group is a politically conservative non-profit association whose goal is to "fight socialized medicine and to fight the government takeover of medicine," as its leaders havetold The New York Times.
Eck earned an MD from St. Louis University School of Medicine.