New Jersey's strange special election to succeed the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg has left perennially rearguard Republican Steve Lonegan in a novel position: front-runner. Lonegan has made a career of fighting the GOP establishment and much more. But thanks partly to the resulting notoriety, he is favored to win the nomination this time around.
Lonegan is also in the unusual position of general agreement with his only opponent, Alieta Eck. The Somerset County physician and political newcomer shares most of Lonegan's conservative positions, but she lacks his record as an activist and politician. And while her practice and advocacy of charity medical care are commendable, they fall well short of a sensible foundation for federal policy.