FLEMINGTON - Gov. Chris Christie has endorsed Steve Lonegan in his campaign for U.S. Senate in New Jersey.

Christie announced his support for the conservative candidate at Hunterdon County Republican Headquarters in Flemington on Tuesday.

Lonegan and Christie were opponents in the 2009 Republican primary.

The governor's endorsement had been anticipated, and Christie says he and fellow Republicans will work to help Lonegan raise money.

Christie's opponent in the upcoming gubernatorial race, Sen. Barbara Buono, was quick to point out Lonegan's conservative ties. A spokesman for Buono's campaign says, "Their unabashedly conservative views are completely out of touch with most New Jerseyans."

Christie is also a strong contender for the Republican nomination for president in 2016.

Lonegan, the former state director of the anti-tax group Americans for Prosperity, is running against Democrat Cory Booker.