Steve Lonegan can’t use his preferred ballot slogan, “Republicans for the President’s Agenda,” because John McCann owns it.
Secretary of State Tahesha Way has ruled in favor of McCann, who is seeking the Republican nomination for Congress in New Jersey’s 5th district against Lonegan, the former Bogota mayor. Lonegan has until Friday to choose a new slogan.
Way did find that Lonegan did not need President Trump’s approval for the slogan because it did not refer to him by name.
Lonegan had initially filed petitions with the slogan, followed by McCann using the same slogan in Sussex and Warren counties. McCann had incorporated the slogan after Lonegan filed, something Lonegan failed to do.
The New Jersey Division of Elections initially advised Lonegan to pick a different slogan, but the candidate objected, saying he had filed Republicans for the President’s Agenda with the Division of Revenue on March 9. He did not file a service mark, allowing McCann to beat him to the punch.
“In order to use Republicans for the President’s Agenda as his slogan, Mr. Lonegan must have the consent of McCann’s corporation, and he does not have it,” Way wrote in her opinion. “I make no comment on the impact of the service mark that Mr. Lonegan apparently filed on April 3, 2018 in connection with what it may mean in other contexts. The relevant inquiry for me under Title 19 is the name of Mr. Lonegan’s corporation.”McCann Lonegan SOS-Decision