New Jersey Governor Race Tightens as Christie and Lonegan Focus on Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 25, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New Jersey Governor Race Tightens as Christie and Lonegan Focus on Abortion

by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 25
, 2009

Trenton, NJ ( — The polls in the New Jersey governor’s race are tightening as two Republican candidates square off to face pro-abortion Governor Jon Corzine. Former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie and former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan are talking abortion as they prepare for the primary election.

As polling numbers tighten in the primary race, both candidates are facing more questions on abortion.

As a prosecuting attorney, Christie, who was formerly pro-abortion but says he changed his mind on abortion after seeing an ultrasound of his daughter, hasn’t tackled the abortion issue frequently.

On the other hand, Lonegan, a prior candidate, has held a longtime pro-life view on abortion.

Christie recently added a "Shared Values" page to his campaign web site stating he is pro-life.

"I am pro-life," Christie declares. "I am devoted to giving a voice to and taking action for those that are unable to protect themselves."

However, Lonegan has gone after Christie repeatedly on abortion during the campaign and says the gubernatorial candidate isn’t sufficiently pro-life.

"On the social issues, he’s been very vague. He’s waffled all over the place," Lonegan told CBS News. "You can’t say you’re morally opposed to abortion but say that Roe v. Wade is the law and you accept it. If you take this issue seriously, you do push your views on people."

Marie Tasy, executive director of New Jersey Right to Life, told CBS News that other pro-life advocates with whom her group has worked are former abortion supporters who changed their views for various reasons.

"We’ve had other candidates who have been proven leaders on the issue that give that response when they first run for office," Tasy said.

She told CBS she is glad that the candidates are focusing on abortion.

"Anytime a pro-life candidate runs and is willing to speak about the issues, it’s great for our community," she said.

Former Jersey City Mayor Bret Schundler and U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, both pro-life advocates, have endorsed Christie.

Polls show Christie leading the GOP primary and a close election in November.

A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday showed Christie leading Lonegan by 23 percent while a Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey poll had Christie ahead by 18 percent.

Christie leads Corzine by a 47%-38% vote, according to the latest Rasmussen poll. Corzine narrowly trails Lonegan by a 42-41 vote.

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