Where Cory Booker and Steve Lonegan stand on the issues

By Matt Friedman/The Star-Ledger
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on October 13, 2013


From gay marriage to their mayoral records, Cory Booker and Steve Lonegan are at odd on almost every political issue. (Aristide Economopoulos/The Star-Ledger)


Democrat Cory Booker and Republican Steve Lonegan are about as far apart ideologically as you can get. Here’s where they stand on the major issues, drawn from their own words.

The economy

Booker: Supports raising the minimum wage to $10.10 and investing in more programs to combat child poverty, including government payments to low-income children for a college fund. Wants to implement more regulation on Wall Street to prevent another financial meltdown and invest more in research and development.

Lonegan: Believes regulations are suffocating businesses and the entrepreneurial spirit, keeping the economy in the doldrums. Wants to sunset all federal regulations after 10 years and then re-examine them to see if they’re still necessary. Opposes raising the minimum wage, and has called for eliminating it altogether and allowing market forces to decide.

Global warming

Subscribes to scientific consensus that global warming is man-made. Supports cap-and-trade or carbon tax approach in dealing with greenhouse gas emissions.

Lonegan: Believes the jury is still out on whether global warming is man-made and has fought hard against cap-and-trade programs.


Booker: Supports closing "gun show loophole" that does not require background checks for the sales, as well as banning assault rifles.

Lonegan: Opposes any new gun control measures.

National security/spying

Booker: Calls for amending the Patriot Act and says he’s "troubled" by revelations about the scope of the National Security Agency’s secret spy programs, but has shied away from specifics on what he’d change.

Lonegan: Called NSA programs an "outright violation of the Fourth Amendment."


Booker: Supports the immigration bill that passed the Senate but stalled in the House creating a pathway for undocumented immigrants to reside legally in the United States and eventually become citizens.

Lonegan: Opposes the immigration bill, which he calls an "amnesty bill." Wants businesses to "sponsor" undocumented immigrations who they deem necessary, and supports increasing border security.

Affordable Care Act

Booker: Calls the law imperfect but says it can be tweaked. Thinks it helps insure Americans.

Lonegan: Wants to repeal, or at least defund, the law, which he calls a "disaster" and a "train wreck."


Booker: Supports vouchers for poor parents with kids in failing schools. Would "tie federal aid for colleges and universities to keeping tuition costs down."

Lonegan: Strongly supports school vouchers and charter schools. Wants teacher evaluations to come from parents.


Booker: Calls for a "national conversation" on decriminalizing marijuana, but won’t commit to the idea. Wants to end mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders and offer more drug treatment.

Lonegan: Wants to decriminalize marijuana.

Gay marriage

Booker: Wants to legalize gay marriage.

Opposes gay marriage, has "mixed feelings" about allowing gay couples to adopt children.

Government shutdown

Booker: Blames tea party Republicans in the House of Representatives for shutting down the government over the Affordable Care Act.

Lonegan: Voices support for Republicans’ call to delay implementation of the Affordable Care Act, says he’s "proud" they’re "standing up to this tyrant."


Booker: Supports Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling that banned states from outlawing abortion.

Lonegan: Opposes abortion, has called himself "about as pro-life as they come." Wants to overturn Roe vs. Wade.

How they ran their towns

Booker: According to his campaign website, thanks to Booker Newark is in the "midst of its biggest period of economic growth since the 1960s" and is "the site of more than one-third of all new commercial and multi-family development in New Jersey."

Lonegan: According to his campaign website, as mayor of Bogota Lonegan "immediately cut municipal spending, eliminated wasteful and duplicative services, privatized some functions and instituted a more cost-efficient, user-friendly government."

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