It’s not even close to her turn and she’s not a white male. That’s only two good reasons that Governor Chris Christie should appoint one of New Jersey’s Rising Stars to the U.S. Senate.
Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande is smart, articulate, conservative and happy. Voters love happy conservatives. Angry conservatives are scary to moderates and Independent voters. Happy conservatives appeal to moderates and Independent voters.
Casagrande’s pro-growth, pro-family, pro-women conservative policy positions belong on the national stage. She could help rebrand the Republican Party with her fellow Penn State alumnus Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire. Imagine that. Two Northeast female Republican U.S. Senators.
Steve Lonegan, a scary angry conservative, has declared he’s running in the Special Republican Primary for U.S. Senate. Lonegan could win a primary against a moderate Jon Bramnick, Tom Kean Jr or Joe Kyrillos. He can’t beat Cory Booker, Frank Pallone or Rush Holt in October.
Bramnick, Kean or Kyrillos are not likely to be able to gear up fast enough to beat Booker in October either.
If Caroline Casagrande were the temporary U.S. Senator, Lonegan would have no philosophical justification to challenge her. None. Republicans best chance of winning the Senate seat in October, and again next November, is if we coalesce behind a conservative woman now.
Casagrande has already caught the eye of many national leaders. Earlier this year she was asked to be on the national leadership team of the Susan B. Anthony List. In 2010 she traveled to Nepal as a delegate of the American Council of Young Political Leaders, a State Department sponsored organization that creates opportunities for the next generation of political leaders. She’s been invited to travel to Israel this summer by the American Jewish Council.
Casagrande would be an out of the box choice. She would appeal to both the conservative and moderate wings of the Party. She would appeal to Independent voters, Reagan Democrats, women and small business owners and employees, i.e., most of the New Jersey electorate. She would be a fresh face that the local and national media would appreciate and cover.