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Archive: August, 2013

POSTED: Wednesday, August 21, 2013, 10:37 AM
Newark Mayor and U.S. Senate candidate Cory Booker addresses a gathering after winning the Democratic primary election for the seat vacated by the late U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013, in Newark, N.J. Lautenberg died in June. Booker and Republican Steve Lonegan will square off in an Oct. 16 special election, with the winner headed to Washington to serve the remaining 15 months of Lautenberg's term. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

UPDATED with comments from Steve Lonegan

WASHINGTON -- President Obama formally endorsed Newark Mayor Cory Booker in the New Jersey Senate race Wednesday, one day after Gov. Christie backed Republican nominee Steve Lonegan.

"Cory has time and again taken on tough challenges, fought for the middle class and those working to join it, and forged coalitions that create progress - and that's the spirit he'll carry with him to Washington," Obama said in a statement released by the Booker campaign. "His passion for his city has helped create new jobs and attract some of America’s top businesses to Newark. Cory will be an important partner in our efforts to reduce gun violence, give every American a fair shot in a global economy, and make our country stronger."

POSTED: Tuesday, August 20, 2013, 9:12 AM
Newark Mayor and U.S. Senate candidate, Cory Booker, steps off his campaign bus during a stop at the North Gate Senior Complex in Camden, NJ on August 12, 2013. ( DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer )

WASHINGTON – Cory Booker coasted through the Democratic Senate primary, but the race took a toll on his popularity, according to a Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press poll out this morning.

Booker’s favorability rating fell from 61 percent to 57 while his unfavorables jumped from 16 to 23, according to the poll. He still has a healthy 16 point lead (54-38) over Republican Senate nominee Steve Lonegan among likely voters, about identical to what the survey found before the primary.

POSTED: Monday, August 19, 2013, 4:50 PM
U.S. Representative Mike Fitzpatrick at the Inquirer office on Oct. 4, 2012. APRIL SAUL / Staff Photographer

WASHINGTON – Bucks County Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick will introduce a bill to tighten the rules around surveillance of Americans' phone records and data – and cut National Security Agency funding if it oversteps its authority -- after saying the issue has been a prime concern for his constituents during Congress’ recess.

“Federal law enforcement deserves all the tools it needs to keep Americans safe at home, keep Americans safe abroad, but we cannot sacrifice personal liberty for the illusion of security,” Fitzpatrick said in a conference call with reporters. He later added, “I need to have an answer for my neighbors who have asked me during this August work period what I am doing to stand up against massive government overreach.”

POSTED: Wednesday, August 14, 2013, 11:43 AM

Five thoughts on the New Jersey Senate primary, with our full story from Tuesday's results here):

1. The upside of celebrity
Cory Booker has taken some hits for his celebrity support and star status. But we saw the upside of his notoriety at the polls Tuesday. On a rainy, mid-summer day when most expected low turnout, Booker was closing in on 209,000 votes, with 98 percent counted, according to AP.

POSTED: Tuesday, August 13, 2013, 8:55 PM

NEWARK -- Democratic Newark Mayor Cory Booker and conservative Republican Steve Lonegan dominated their Senate primary contests Tuesday, each easily winning and setting up a clash of headline-grabbing candidates with sharply different views.

The Associated Press called the race for each favorite less than an hour after polls closed. As of 8:40 Booker had 57 percent of the vote in a four-way Democratic primary. Lonegan had 81 percent of the Republican vote against one opponent.

POSTED: Monday, August 12, 2013, 3:16 PM
Republican Steve Lonegan. (Ron Tarver / Staff Photographer)

WASHINGTON -- A tea party group took aim at Republican Senate candidate Steve Lonegan Monday, questioning his temperament and his potential damage to other Republicans after a campaign aide sent a racially-charged Tweet last week.

UPDATED: Separately, Gov. Christie called the tweet "inflammatory and inappropriate" and said he would have fired the staffer who sent it because it showed  "a complete lack of judgement."

"Steve's decision has been to work with that person," Christie said at a Trenton news conference. "And that's his call."

POSTED: Saturday, August 10, 2013, 7:37 PM
Senate candidate Newark Mayor Cory Booker addresses a gathering of supporters at an event in Deptford Township, N.J. Tuesday, June 18, 2013. A Quinnipiac University poll has Booker with 53 percent of Democratic support in a four-way primary. (AP)

WASHINGTON -- The New Jersey chapter of the National Organization for Women issued a stinging critique of Cory Booker Saturday, questioning his work in Newark and the substance behind his popularity as the group endorsed U.S. Rep. Rush Holt in New Jersey's Senate race.

NOW-NJ PAC said Booker was “entirely unresponsive to our requests for interview, despite repeated attempts to contact his offices by phone, email, and other means.”  

POSTED: Friday, August 9, 2013, 1:21 PM
Republican Steve Lonegan. (Ron Tarver / Staff Photographer)

UPDATED below with some blistering comments from Lonegan opponent candidate Alieta Eck and Democrat Sheila Oliver, and the Lonegan campaign response.

WASHINGTON -- Steve Lonegan, the conservative Republican running for the GOP Senate nomination, is known for his no-holds-barred politics.

But even he apparently thought his campaign went too far Thursday night when it sent a racially-tinged tweet about Newark Mayor Cory Booker, the front-runner in the Democratic race. It was quickly deleted, according to Politico, which first reported on the message.

About this blog

Jonathan Tamari is the Inquirer’s Washington correspondent. He writes about the lawmakers, politics and policy that affect Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Tamari previously covered the Philadelphia Eagles and the NFL. Before that he worked in Trenton, reporting on the characters and color of New Jersey state government. He lives in Washington.

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