STATE—Republican voters in the GOP gubernatorial primary, have received mixed messages from the two hopefuls, conservative Steve Lonegan and liberal Chris Christie.
Lonegan lost races for state senate, congress and governor but he won three terms as mayor of Bogota in Bergen County. Christie became a Morris County freeholder in 1994 but he was soundly defeated in the 1995 Assembly primary and booted from office in 1997, coming in sixth among six primary candidates.
Christie’s been saying his opponent proposed tax hikes while mayor of Bogota, but municipal taxes went down six percent during Lonegan’s tenure.
Although he once favored abortion, Christie now says he favors such restrictions as a partial-birth abortion ban, parental notification for minors and a requiring 24-hour waiting period. Christie would allow victims of rape and incest to have abortions.
Lonegan wants to outlaw abortion without exceptions and he is opposed to gay marriage.
Christie did not break any laws by awarding no-bid monitoring contracts to former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, former federal Judge Herbert Stern and David Kelley, former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. Observers generally say he made a political blunder by accepting campaign contributions from them.