Eck says Lonegan is not a viable candidate. Says the former Bogota mayor and his team are “angry white men”
During last night’s Democratic U.S. Senate debate, a racially insensitive tweet was sent out from former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan’s campaign account, @Lonegan.
Politico captured an image of the tweet which depicted Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s foreign policy prep notes as a map of Newark with Guaya, West Africa, Portugal and Brazil noted as parts of the city and the Middle East as Afghanistan, Pakistan PLUS Bangladesh and Trinidad.
The tweet was quickly deleted and Lonegan spokesman Rich Shaftan told Politico that Lonegan did not find it funny or reflective of how he thinks.
Shaftan told The Star Ledger that the staffer responsible had been discipline but probably would not be fired.
“It’s not Lonegan’s tweet. It’s not from his personal account,” Shaftan said. “Sometimes things happen in political campaigns. People put things out that are not reflective of what the candidate thinks.”
Shaftan declined to say who was responsible for the twet and said the individual had been disciplined but would likely not be fired.
“Everyone does stupid things,” Shaftan said. ” Steve’s not a believer in throwing people over because they make mistakes.”
Lonegan press contact Jon Meadows referred MMM to Shaftan. Shaftan did not respond to a message via facebook and said he would call back when reached on the phone.
Lonegan’s opponent in the August 13th Republican primary, Dr. Alieta Eck said the gaffe is indicative of Lonegan’s world view. Eck said the Lonegan and his campaign staff are “angry white men.”
In a statement released by Eck Campaign Manager, Thomas Roberts, the campaign said that Lonegan’s candidacy is “unviable”
“Steve Lonegan just continues to demonstrate how uncomfortable he is addressing people other than his own acolytes,” said Eck campaign manager Thomas Roberts. “From his English language debacle in Bogota, to his refusal this week to meet with the NAACP in Newark, and finally last night’s horrifyingly racist tweet, how on earth is he supposed to ‘represent’ a state as culturally rich and diverse as New Jersey in the Senate? He is completely unviable as a candidate, and I think he owes a lot of people an apology.”
Eck told MMM that Lonegan did not reply to the Newark NAACP’s invitation to a debate earlier this week.
Booker’s campaign spokesperson said, according to the Ledger,
“The Lonegan campaign’s tweet is inappropriate, offensive and fundamentally out of step with New Jersey values. It’s also not surprising,” Booker campaign manager Addisu Demissie said. “This is the same misguided person who was offended by an advertisement simply because it was in Spanish. We need leaders who will lift up our communities, not tear them down — leaders like Cory Booker.”