Steve Lonegan

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Steve Lonegan
Steve Lonegan (5540277781).jpg
Mayor of Bogota
In office
January 1, 1996 – December 31, 2007
Preceded by Leonard Nicolosi
Succeeded by Pat McHale
Personal details
Born Steven Mark Lonegan
(1956-04-27) April 27, 1956 (age 59)
Teaneck, New Jersey, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Lorraine Rossi
Alma mater William Paterson University
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Religion Roman Catholicism

Steven Mark "Steve" Lonegan (born April 27, 1956) is an American businessman, author and former Mayor of Bogota, New Jersey, serving from 1995 to 2007. A member of the Republican Party, Lonegan currently works as Director of Monetary Policy for the American Principles Project.[1] He serves as the organization's national spokesman on monetary policies of the Federal Reserve System and directs the Fix the Dollar project.[2]

Lonegan lectures across the country to a wide range of audiences on the history of money and current monetary policy conditions.

On February 27, 2015, Steve led a team of economists and conservative think tank leaders into a meeting with Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and Federal Reserve officials at the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the Federal Reserve System.[3]

Lonegan has also organized an international economic summit conference to be held in Jackson Hole, Wyoming in August 2015. The Jackson Hole Summit is designed to challenge Federal Reserve policies and will feature leading economists from across the country, as well as international leaders.

Previously, Lonegan served as the State Director of the New Jersey chapter of Americans for Prosperity and was a candidate for the Republican nomination for Governor of New Jersey in 2005 and 2009. He was the Republican Party's nominee in the October 2013 special election to fill New Jersey's open U.S. Senate seat following the death of Frank Lautenberg.[4][5]

Early life and background[edit]

Lonegan was born in Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck, New Jersey. His grandparents emigrated from Italy and Ireland.[6] He graduated from Ridgefield Park High School where he set several high school track records.

Lonegan was a high school football lineman for the Ridgefield Park Scarletts. He went on to play four years at William Paterson College, where he was team captain and All-Conference Offensive Center.

He was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa at the age of 14, and is now legally blind.[7]

Lonegan has owned a custom home building business and a cabinet-making business. He served as the state national and finance vice president for the National Federation of Independent Business.[8][9] He graduated in 1980 from William Paterson College with a B.A. in Business Administration and in 1981 earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Political career[edit]

Mayor of Bogota[edit]

In 1995 Lonegan was elected Mayor of Bogota, defeating incumbent Democrat Leonard Nicolosi. He was reelected in 1999[10] and 2003 by double-digit margins. As Mayor, he cut municipal spending, merged several municipal departments and privatized some services. Lonegan ordered the municipality to hire civilian dispatchers to answer telephones at police headquarters at lower pay than uniformed officers, angering the local Police union; successfully fought the implementation of LOSAP (Length of Service Award Program), which extended pension payments to volunteer fire and rescue personnel; and required that local union contracts exceeding inflation be put to voters for approval. While he was in office, Republicans long in the minority in Democratic-leaning Bogota, controlled the municipal council for 11 straight elections. Lonegan did not seek reelection in 2007, stating a strong belief in term limits.

The 2003 mayoral election in Bogota was chronicled in the documentary Anytown, USA.[11]

In 2006, Lonegan filed papers for a public referendum in Bogota on making English the official language for the municipality. The public question was rejected by the County Clerk’s office, which is partly responsible for officiating elections, on legal advice that it violated state and federal law.[12]

On January 19, 2008, Lonegan was arrested by New Jersey State Police troopers for trespassing at a town hall meeting scheduled by Gov. Jon Corzine at a high school in Middle Township, New Jersey.[13] Lonegan was standing on the school's lawn protesting when police and school officials asked him to move to a designated protest area and remove a sign he was holding. Police arrested him when he refused. School officials later apologized and the police dropped the charges.[14]

State Director of Americans for Prosperity[edit]

From 2007 - June 2013 Lonegan served as the New Jersey State Director and Senior Policy Analyst for Americans for Prosperity, a conservative public policy organization.[15][16][17][18] He resigned to run for U.S. Senate, just as he had three years earlier to run for Governor.[19]

In 2003, Lonegan formed the group "" and filed lawsuits against the State of New Jersey in New Jersey's Supreme Court, challenging state debt sold without voter approval in violation of the state constitution's "debt limitation clause". In its findings against Lonegan and the group, the court stated two reasons for not requiring voter approval of that debt. First, that the debt was issued to finance a constitutional mandate: the requirement that "The Legislature shall provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of free public schools for the instruction of all children in the State between the ages of five and eighteen years" (Article VIII Section IV). Second, that the debt was technically not backed by the full faith and credit of New Jersey, and future lawmakers could refuse to honor that contract at any time.[20]

Campaigns for Governor[edit]

Steve Lonegan addresses protestors at the Philadelphia Tea Party protest on April 18, 2009.

Lonegan ran for the Republican nomination for governor in the state's 2005 election and finished fourth, in a field of 7 with 8.08% of the vote after the nominee, businessman Doug Forrester, former Jersey City Mayor Bret Schundler and Morris County Freeholder John Murphy and defeated Assembly Majority Leader Paul DeGaetano, Former Freedholder Todd Caliguire and Assemblyman Robert Schroeder.[21]

On December 1, 2008, Lonegan announced that he would run for the Republican nomination for Governor of New Jersey, his second run for the seat. Lonegan promised to cut the size of state government by more than 20% and said he would run on the issues of property taxes, school funding and affordable housing.[22][23] Lonegan sought to run as a conservative alternative to the more liberal candidate, former U.S. Prosecutor Chris Christie.[24] On June 2, Lonegan lost the primary to Christie by a 55–44% vote.[25]

2013 U.S. Senate campaign[edit]

In June 2013, Lonegan announced that he would run to fill New Jersey's open U.S. Senate seat following the death of Senator Frank Lautenberg.[5] Lonegan easily won the Republican primary in August 2013, making him the Republican Party's nominee in the October 2013 special election[4] Lonegan was defeated in the election by Democrat Cory Booker. He lost by nearly eleven percentage points.

2014 U.S. House campaign[edit]

Lonegan announced in October 2013 that he would run in the November 2014 election to represent New Jersey's 3rd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives. Incumbent Jon Runyan had chosen not to run for reelection.[26] Lonegan lost to Tom MacArthur with 40% voting for Lonegan as opposed to MacArthur's 60%.[27]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Condon, Christopher (August 27, 2015). "Jackson Hole Journal: Rate Rise Friends, Foes Encircle Fed Event". Bloomberg. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b Taylor, Jessica (August 13, 2013). "Cory Booker wins Democratic primary in New Jersey". NBC News. 
  5. ^ a b Pizarro, Max (June 5, 2013), Lonegan running for US Senate; Doherty backing him,, retrieved June 6, 2013 
  6. ^ "Issues". Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  7. ^ Chadwick, John (March 15, 2008), Legally blind Governor to serve as trailblazer,, retrieved March 30, 2009 
  8. ^ 2003 Article about his homebuilding venture from the National Federation of Independent Businesses website
  9. ^ Kocieniewski, David (October 22, 1998), THE 1998 CAMPAIGN: NEW JERSEY; Democrat in Lead as Interest in Scandal Cools, The New York Times, retrieved March 30, 2009 
  10. ^ MUNICIPAL RESULTS AT A GLANCE -- BOGOTA, The Record (Bergen County), November 3, 1999, retrieved March 31, 2009 
  11. ^ Benson, Josh. "WORTH NOTING; Star of Stage and Screen If Not the Ballot Box", The New York Times, June 26, 2005. Accessed February 12, 2008.
  12. ^ Weiss, Jennifer (September 10, 2006), English-Language Question Gets a No Answer, The New York Times, retrieved April 2, 2009 
  13. ^ Serdar Tumgoren, and Stephanie Akin (January 20, 2008), Lonegan arrested, The Record (Bergen County), retrieved March 30, 2009 
  14. ^ Margolin, Josh (January 23, 2008), Charges may be dropped in Lonegan arrest at Corzine toll meeting, The Star-Ledger, retrieved March 30, 2009 
  15. ^ Zernike, Kate (October 19, 2010), "Secretive Republican Donors Are Planning Ahead", New York Times. 
  16. ^ Mayer, Jane (January 7, 2009). "The billionaire Koch brothers’ war against Obama". The New Yorker. Retrieved October 21, 2010. 
  17. ^ Overby, Peter (February 19, 2010). "Who's Raising Money For Tea Party Movement?". David Koch has directly taken credit for founding Americans for Prosperity, saying, "Five years ago my brother Charles and I provided the funds to start the Americans for Prosperity." 
  18. ^ Wertz, Fausta (November 3, 2007), On the Road in New Jersey: Americans for Prosperity, The Star-Ledger, NJ Voices Blog, retrieved June 17, 2009 
  19. ^ Friedman, Matt (June 17, 2009), Lonegan Back with AFP,, retrieved June 17, 2009 
  20. ^ N.J. Supreme Court upholds appropriations-backed debt, Government Finance Review, June 2003, retrieved March 30, 2009 
  21. ^ State of New Jersey Division of Elections Official 2005 Primary Election Results.
  22. ^ Heininger, Claire (December 1, 2008), Lonegan announces bid for NJ Governor, The Star-Ledger, retrieved March 30, 2009 
  23. ^ Tamari, Tamari (December 1, 2008), Lonegan enters governor's race, Philadelphia Inquirer, retrieved March 30, 2009 ,
  24. ^ Halbfinger, David M. (May 29, 2009), Campaign for Governor Splits GOP in New Jersey, New York Times, retrieved June 17, 2009 
  25. ^ Halbfinger, David M. (June 2, 2009), "Ex-Prosecutor Wins G.O.P. Primary in New Jersey", The New York Times, retrieved June 3, 2009 
  26. ^ "Lonegan says he'll run for Congress in South Jersey". October 16, 2013. Retrieved January 3, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Steve Lonegan loses again". June 4, 2014. Retrieved June 6, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Dick Zimmer
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from New Jersey
(Class 2)

Succeeded by
Jeffrey Bell