Tuesday, July 22, 2014
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Booker Landslide Has Democrats Looking Past Lonegan

With Cory Booker piling up a landslide victory in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate last night, New Jersey's Democratic leaders already were looking ahead -- not to Booker's October 16 special election contest with Republican conservative Steve Lonegan, which they assume he will win, but to what Booker could do to help the rest of the Democratic ticket 20 days later in the regular November election.

Booker Landslide Has Democrats Looking Past Lonegan

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. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
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. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

With Cory Booker piling up a landslide victory in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate last night, New Jersey’s Democratic leaders already were looking ahead -- not to Booker’s October 16 special election contest with Republican conservative Steve Lonegan, which they assume he will win, but to what Booker could do to help the rest of the Democratic ticket 20 days later in the regular November election.

“Cory’s race is going to create great excitement and great momentum for Democrats heading into November,” Sen. Raymond Lesniak (R-Union) said after Booker piled up 59 percent of the vote in trouncing an unusually high-profile field made up of Rep. Frank Pallone, who finished second with 20 percent, Rep. Rush Holt, who got 17 percent, and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-Essex), who polled 4 percent.

“Cory’s going to mobilize a lot of new voters, and it will be very helpful to [Democratic gubernatorial candidate] Barbara Buono’s operation to be able to fold Booker’s field operation into her’s. Obviously, it would have been more helpful to have Cory at the top of the Democratic ticket in November, but Gov. Christie wanted no part of that, so he went out and spent $24 million to hold two special Senate elections, which is why we’re here tonight,” Lesniak said, surveying the crowd outside Newark’s Prudential Center. “I still say he would have beaten Christie if he had run for governor instead.”

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