Steve Lonegan is inching toward a bid for State Senate in the 24th district, filing a nominating petition on Friday to compete at the Morris County GOP convention on March 4.
That sets up a primary with Assemblyman Parker Space (R-Wantage), who entered the race on Monday, immediately after Senate Minority Leader Steve Oroho’s surprise announcement that he would not seek re-election to a sixth term.
Lonegan told the New Jersey Globe this week that he was considering a Senate run and would make a final decision within the next two weeks.
In the meantime, he filed his petition before the February 9 deadline and remains a candidate for both Senate and Assembly. He can withdraw one of the petitions before the convention or run for both offices simultaneously. That buys him time to decide on his own timeline without losing the option of competing for the Morris organization line.
Space has teamed up with Sussex County Commissioner Dawn Fantasia and Chester Mayor Mike Inganamort. They are seeking the open Assembly seats of Space and retiring Assemblyman Hal Wirth (R-Wantage).
A former Bogota mayor, Lonegan moved to Sussex County last year to run for the Assembly.
Lafayette Board of Education President Josh Aikens and gym owner Enrico Fiornarelli are already in the Assembly race, and Warren County Freeholder Jason Sarnoski is likely to run.
The 24th district includes parts of Morris, Sussex and Warren counties.