Steve Lonegan has dropped his bid for the Republican nomination for State Senate in the 24th district, leaving a clear path for Parker Space to succeed Steve Oroho.
“I terminated my campaign this past Sunday,” Lonegan told the New Jersey Globe in an email. “I am out.”
Lonegan had been viewed as a major contender for the open Senate seat in one of the most conservative Republican legislative districts in the state.
Space has spent more than ten years as an assemblyman from the 24th district. He had originally announced his retirement but quickly became a Senate candidate after Oroho unexpectedly decided not to seek re-election.
Initially, Lonegan had moved from Bogota, where he had served three terms as mayor, to Sussex County last year with plans to seek Space’s open Assembly seat. He switched to the Senate after Oroho left the race.
Last Saturday, Space defeated Lonegan at the Morris County GOP convention to win the organization line. He has not issued any public statement this week and did not respond to Oroho’s endorsement of Space.
The message from Lonegan came from the same email address he has used for years. He did not answer his phone this morning.
Space, who said he had not heard that Lonegan was exiting the race, declined comment.
That leaves Space unopposed in the Republican primary. The filing deadline is March 27