*This post has been updated to reflect Dr. Alieta Eck's signing of the Pledge
Following Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s (D-NJ) passing, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie appointed Republican Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa to represent the Garden State in the interim. This decision was made with the understanding that Chiesa would not seek re-election, and prospective special election candidates scrambled to obtain the required 1,000 signatures before the March 10 deadline.
Steve Lonegan, one of the two Republican candidates, was the first to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. He currently works for Americans for Prosperity as New Jersey’s State Director, and he previously served as the mayor of Bogota, NJ, from 1996-2007. Lonegan is challenged by Dr. Alieta Eck, a fellow Pledge signer and the former President of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. They will square off in the Republican primary on Tuesday, August 13.
The Cook Political Report rates the race as “Solid Democrat,” and the Rothenberg Political Report concurs, placing it in the “Currently Safe Democrat” column. In the 2012 presidential election, Mitt Romney won just over 40% of the state’s overall vote.
The general election is scheduled for Wednesday, October 16. When it comes time to vote, the people of New Jersey will know which candidates are committed to protecting them from higher taxes.