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As a matter of disclosure, Kenneth Del Vecchio is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Empire State News. This article was written before he assumed those titles. ESN had published some positive material about him – and some not-so-positive!

While the Democrats in Washington are heading into a self-induced freebie hibernation through a government shutdown that they’re causing, Republican Steve Lonegan is muscling his way to a congressional victory in New Jersey’s Fifth Congressional District. As the current congressman, Democrat Josh Gottheimer, is losing more and more popularity, Lonegan is winning over more and more support – and voters.

In recognition of Lonegan’s growing opportunity to take back this congressional seat for the GOP, two of the nation’s favorite and most trusted Republican behind-the-scenes sons, Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie, are headlining a book signing fundraiser for Lonegan. The event, which is open to supporters at a $100 ticket fee, will be held on January 31 from 6pm – 8pm at the Bishop House in Saddle River, New Jersey. There, attendees can meet Lewandowski and Bossie, and obtain personally signed copies of their best-selling book, Let Trump Be Trump: The Inside Story of His Rise to the Presidency.

Lewandowski and Bossie have joined a lengthy list of top Republican leadership who have publicly supported and endorsed Lonegan in his congressional bid. Beginning with one of the state’s most respected elected legislators, State Senator Gerald Cardinale (R – Bergen), Lonegan has now garnered the endorsements of nearly every state legislator in the district, as listed on his congressional campaign website. He has also gained crucial national support.

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R – Texas), one of the nation’s top conservative leaders, endorsed Lonegan back in November. Cruz proclaimed, “Steve Lonegan is a tireless advocate for our founding principles who has proven his willingness to boldly take his message directly to the people of New Jersey, and I am proud to endorse him to become the next Member of Congress from the Fifth District. I have known Steve for many years, and look forward to working with him to grow jobs, expand freedom, and ensure the security of the American people.”

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has also endorsed Lonegan, granting him the nationally coveted “Young Guns” designation. The NRCC has awarded this designation to just 31 congressional candidates in the U.S.

When announcing Lonegan as one of the Young Guns recipients, NRCC Chairman Steve Stivers said, “These 31 candidates are formidable competitors against the liberal agenda of Nancy Pelosi and the left. We look forward to working with these candidates to grow our Republican majority and enact policies that help hard working Americans.”

Why the great support for Lonegan?

A few quotes from a recent Forbes article profiling Lonegan are quite telling:

“The current incumbent for the seat Lonegan seeks, Josh Gottheimer (D–Wyckoff), has faded into the crowd…Rep. Gottheimer describes himself on his official website as ‘Co-Chair of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, where he brings Members together across party lines’…He has, like most Members of Congress, disappeared into the House of Representatives, barely distinguishable…[Lonegan] will not fade into the crowd.”

“My favorite anecdote about him is summed up at the Wikipedia: ‘In December 2015, Steve took three weeks to travel to Tanzania, Africa where, on December 17, he successfully summited Mount Kilimanjaro, one of the highest mountains in the world.’ What might Steve Lonegan, who conquered Kilimanjaro, accomplish if elected to Congress?”

“Lonegan has the potential of proving himself one of those wild deuces capable of recognizing a great idea, crusading on it, mounting the political summit and thereby transforming the world.”

Lonegan’s career accomplishments and history of success in New Jersey’s Fifth Congressional District are also rather instructive.

A three-term mayor from a Bergen County, New Jersey town, Lonegan was the statewide director of the Koch Brothers’ conservative activist group, Americans for Prosperity. During his mayoral tenure, spending remained constant in his municipality for the entire 12 years he was in office, an achievement unheard of in New Jersey government.

Lonegan crushed an effort to use $450 million of government money for embryonic stem cell research. In doing so, he accomplished something that no one had done in 27 years: he defeated a ballot question in New Jersey. But this wasn’t his only trip at that rodeo. Lonegan also busted up the proposed 8% sales tax on the statewide ballot. And he battled former Governor Corzine’s $38 billion toll hike scheme – to a victory.

Speaking of victories, Lonegan beat Cory Booker in the 2013 U.S. Senate race in New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District, by over 2,000 votes. And Donald Trump won this same congressional district in the 2016 presidential election. Both of these wins were substantial feats.

And how did Donald Trump win New Jersey’s Fifth Congressional District when incumbent Republican Congressman Scott Garrett lost it in that same election year?

There may be no one in Republican circles, or anywhere, who better understand the inside story of Donald Trump’s historic rise to the presidency than Corey Lewandowski (former Trump campaign manager) and David Bossie (former Trump deputy campaign manager). On the front lines of The Donald’s candidacy since its inception, these two men have proudly stood loyal to Trump from point one to the present.

One guy who understands that type of loyalty is Lonegan Campaign Chairman Kenneth Del Vecchio, who was the first Congress candidate in the country to endorse Trump for president – and who also served as the chairman of Trump’s presidential campaign in New York’s 18th Congressional District and Orange County, NY. “Having Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie support Steve says and means a lot for his campaign,” said Del Vecchio.

“These are two national powerhouses in the Republican party, who have substantially helped to make America great again. I was just a small part of the Trump presidential campaign. Corey and David were superstars in it,” added Del Vecchio, who has some shining stardom himself. Del Vecchio is an acclaimed filmmaker of over 30 movies that star several Academy Award and Emmy winners and nominees, a best-selling novelist, author of the nation’s best-selling legal books, chairman of one of the world’s largest film festivals, and an attorney who is a former judge.

For his part in the Trump presidential campaign, Del Vecchio was a relentless beast. He personally went door-to-door to over 1,000 households in his own congressional district. He appeared on Fox News Channel to herald Trump, and did substantial local media interviews in Trump’s support. Del Vecchio’s efforts paid off. Trump received 70% of the vote in Orange County and more than 67% of the overall vote in District 18 in the New York presidential primary. Del Vecchio’s inexorable stumping for Trump helped lead District 18 to being one of the top five Trump winningest congressional districts in the state (and it had the highest vote total of those top five districts).

“And now Steve Lonegan is going to win this seat in Congress. He deserves it, and the voters in our congressional district deserve it. We deserve to have a leader with courage, and with true conservative and liberty-minded values,” stated Del Vecchio. “Steve Lonegan is a veteran-protecting, pro-2nd Amendment, pro-life, freedom seeking, sanctuary city eliminating, politically correct smashing, economy boosting capitalist. That’s what I am too, and that’s what the voters want – not plastic, phony politicians.”

Before entering the general election against Gottheimer, Lonegan has a primary contest (of sorts) against a little-known, disgraced attorney, John McCann. Until recently, McCann served as a lawyer for the Democrat Bergen County Sheriff. In December, it was revealed that McCann was administratively ineligible to practice law in New Jersey, for his failure to pay required annual attorney assessments to the New Jersey Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protections – since October 2012. Although he may have now restored his ability to practice law, confidence in this politico has dropped from single digits to near zero. More so, McCann has little, if any, support from credible Republican leadership.

“Worse,” Del Vecchio said, “He is an anathema to the conservative voters of our congressional district. It’s bad enough that he looks like Big Bird without all the feathers. But what’s more troubling is that his social and economic views seem to be an unholy cross among Jeff Flake, Don Lemon, Sandra Fluke, and Woody Woodpecker. He’s a pro-choice lib-flake, milk toast CNN acolyte who you can poke holes through every utterance delivered through his quaking beak.”

Del Vecchio is hardly worried about McCann, however. “John is just a punching bag until we get to the real fight,” the Lonegan chairman quipped and then thoughtfully noted, “Well, we’re already actually in that real fight. Against Gottheimer and his ultra-liberal agenda. But we’ll come out with a win on this one. We have to – if we want freedom and prosperity.”