Booker wins New Jersey Senate race

McClatchy Washington BureauOctober 16, 2013 

US NEWS NEWJERSEY-SENATE 3 PH

New Jersey U.S. Senate candidate Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, answers a question during a debate with Steve Lonegan, former mayor of Bogota, at Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey, on Wednesday, October 9, 2013.

MICHAEL BRYANT — MCT

Newark Mayor Cory Booker won his bid for a U.S. Senate seat Wednesday.

Booker, 44, defeated Republican Steve Lonegan, former mayor of Bogota. Booker had 54 percent of the vote with 99.3 percent of precincts reporting.

Booker will become the Senate's second African-American, serving with Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C. Booker replaces Republican Jeff Chiesa, appointed early this year after incumbent Sen. Frank Lautenberg, a Democrat, died.

The race was never considered close. Polls showed Booker with huge support among women and nearly unanimous support among blacks.

Lonegan tried to paint himself as a conservative, and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin campaigned with him. But New Jersey is largely a Democratic state, and Booker was a consistent favorite.

Booker enters the Senate as an instant star. Democrats don't have much freshman firepower, but Booker is already well-known from his national television appearances and is a familiar figure in Washington as a spokesman for urban issues.

He will serve 15 months of Lautenberg's term, and then have to run again in November 2014.

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