Rand Paul to campaign with New Jersey GOP Senate candidate Steve Lonegan

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) will campaign with New Jersey Republican Senate candidate Steve Lonegan this month.

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The Sept. 13 appearance in New Jersey puts Paul squarely in the home state of one of his chief GOP rivals, Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.).

According to a source, the governor has been invited to the campaign event. It's unclear whether he'll appear alongside the senator, who typically acts as spokesman for what Christie derided as a "dangerous" "strain of libertarianism" in the GOP. The two waged a heated feud last month over government spending on emergency aid for Hurricane Sandy. 

Christie has endorsed Lonegan, saying he's "proud" of the candidate. But he could avoid overtly aligning himself with the conservative candidate known for his campaign-trail gaffes. 

Last month, Lonegan's campaign was derailed for days after he said Democratic candidate Cory Booker's dismissal of speculation over his sexuality was "weird."

Christie is hoping for a smashing victory in the gubernatorial race this November, and a close association to Lonegan could jeopardize some of the Democratic votes he needs to achieve that goal.

The appearance does, however, make good on Paul's word earlier this month that he was looking for a way to help underdog Lonegan, who is severely lagging in the polls against Booker, the mayor of Newark.

One recent poll gave Booker a 28-point lead on Lonegan.

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