Updated at 12:37 p.m.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) will campaign next week for New Jersey GOP Senate nominee Steve Lonegan, Lonegan's campaign announced Tuesday. The move will bring Paul into the home state of Gov. Chris Christie (R), with whom he has clashed over national security issues.
Paul will appear with Lonegan on Sept. 13, but Christie will not. The governor explained Tuesday that he will be away for a long weekend with his wife to celebrate her 50th birthday.
"In a choice between Mary Pat Christie and Rand Paul, it's no choice for me, So I'll be with Mary Pat," Christie said.
Lonegan, a conservative activist who holds positions that align with Paul's, is running against Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) in the October special election. Booker is the overwhelming front-runner in the race.
Christie endorsed Lonegan last month, though the two are far from close allies. Lonegan, the former Bogota mayor, lost to Christie in the 2009 governor's race.
A senior Paul aide said Paul's campaign team had reached out to Christie's team in the hopes of setting up a meeting between the two Republicans when Paul is in New Jersey. But because Christie will be away for the weekend, that won't happen.