Steve Rogers: Conservative hope for Governor?
Well he certainly looks and sounds like a Republican Governor. If he were playing the part on TV, he'd be totally believable. And he has a resume packed with interesting experience:
Steven L. Rogers is currently serving his first term on the Township of Nutley Board of Commissioners. Elected in May 2012, he is the Director of Public Affairs.
Commissioner Steven L. Rogers served in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War era, achieving the rank of Sergeant. He was discharged from the Air Force in 1974 and became a police officer in East Orange, NJ. In 1976 he joined the Nutley Police Department, where he served until July 2011, retiring at the rank of Detective Lieutenant. In 1986 he graduated William Paterson University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice.
Commissioner Rogers became an expert in Community Policing and wrote two books on the subject. He lectured throughout the country on the effectiveness of community policing and was invited to address the command staff of the Israeli Police Academy, in Israel.
Commissioner Rogers enlisted in the U.S. Navy Reserves in 1981 – and studied U.S. military intelligence and other national security subjects at many schools including the U.S. Naval War College Newport, R.I. In the mid 1980’s he was assigned to brief U.S. military personnel on military matters related to the Soviet Union and other nations hostile to the United States.
Soon after the terrorist’s attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, Commissioner Rogers was recalled to active duty and assigned to the U.S. Navy Office of Naval Intelligence in Norfolk, Virginia. He was promoted to the rank of Lt. Commander and assigned to the U.S. Northern Command as a Senior Naval Intelligence Officer for the FBI National Joint Terrorism Task Force in Washington D.C.
Commissioner Rogers returned to the Nutley Police Department in 2004 to continue as Commander of the Nutley Police Department Detective Bureau. In 2005 he travelled to Louisiana where he led an Animal Rescue Team in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
In 2009 he was elected to the Nutley Board of Education and completed one full term before being elected to the Nutley Board of Commissioners in 2012.
Commissioner Rogers is the author of several books and a frequent commentator on CNN and FOX News. (Source: Nutley website)
Rogers writes mainly about his experiences as a police officer and the ideas for reforms that have come from that experience. Some of his work is listed on Amazon.com: Cops and God (1997), 21st Century Policing: Community Policing, A Guide for Police Officers and Citizens (1998), and Proven Strategies for Effective Community Oriented Policing (2008).
Steve Rogers was a Trump delegate and an early supporter of the incoming President, which says something for his political radar. In his speeches, Rogers is less a movement conservative than a populist. In contrast to outgoing Republican Governor Chris Christie, Rogers appears to have no problems with public employee unions. He is more like a traditional conservative when it comes to discussing his belief in God. And Rogers is by far the most solidly pro-second Amendment candidate running.
It is natural to compare Rogers' candidacy with that of Steve Lonegan, the former Mayor of Bogota. Both candidates had solid municipal credentials, but in their speeches, Lonegan was the more ideological of the two.
The next hurdle for Steve Rogers is to collect the first $430,000 in campaign contributions to qualify for gubernatorial matching funds. Under the new thresholds announced last June, gubernatorial candidates who qualify for public funding can spend a maximum of $6.4 million in primary elections, and $13.8 million in general elections. Under the Gubernatorial Public Financing Program, candidates are eligible to receive up to $4 million in public funds during the primary election, and $9.3 million during the general election.
After raising $430,000, Rogers will qualify to receive $2 from the state for every $1 he raises from private sources. Running as a third-party candidate for Governor on the Libertarian Party ticket, Professor Murray Sabrin reached this threshold in 1997. Needless to say, Mayor Lonegan easily reached the qualifying threshold. It is important to remember that qualifying for matching funds guarantees a place at the public debates.
So this is doable and it has been done in the past by conservatives like Sabrin, Schundler, and Lonegan. And they did so before there were all these Tea Party groups to go to and ask for their help. Steve Rogers has a road map. Will the groups that form the Tea Party focus and provide the help he needs?