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Assemblyman Parker Space, right, with former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan. (Photo: Steve Lonegan).

Space needles Lonegan on carpetbagger issue

By David Wildstein, February 28 2023 7:15 pm

Parker Space poked fun at Steve Lonegan today for returning to Bergen County for campaign funds for his State Senate bid in the 24th district.

“The Bergen County GOP is apparently so happy to get rid of Steve Lonegan that they are trying to raise money to ship him off to Sussex, Warren, and Morris Counties so he can drag their party organization’s down like he has Bergen’s,” said Space, a six-term assemblyman who is facing off against Lonegan in the race for an open State Senate seat.

Lonegan, a former mayor of Bogota in Bergen County, moved to Sussex last year with his eye on the Assembly seat Space was giving up.  Both switched to the Senate race after incumbent Steve Oroho unexpectedly announced his retirement.

Bergen County GOP Chairman Jack Zisa is hosting a high-dollar fundraiser for Lonegan next week in Carlstadt, along with Bergen Republican insiders Tom Toscano and Richard Malagiere.

“In 2018, then candidate for County Chair Jack Zisa worked feverishly behind the scenes to hand the party line to his friend instead of Lonegan, and Lonegan assailed the Bergen GOP as failed and corrupt,” Space said.  “You gotta hand it to Lonegan here, he is so despised by his home county GOP that they are willing to raise money for him to carpetbag somewhere else.”

Lonegan wanted to challenge then-freshman Rep. Josh Gottheimer (R-Wyckoff) that year but lost the Republican primary to former Cresskill Councilman John McCann, Jr. by a 53%-37% margin.

Space backed Lonegan in that primary, and he won Sussex by 459 votes.   McCann won Bergen by 2,432 votes, and Passaic by 36 votes; Warren went for Lonegan by 91 votes.

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