Cory Booker won against Steve Lonegan handing over another loss for Republicans this week. Booker won maintaining an 11 point lead and 90% of the vote over conservative Republican Lonegan. Booker will fill the vacant U.S. Senate seat for the state of New Jersey. With the Republican brand tarnished in the government shut down debacle, the Republicans’ popularity is slipping in the polls.
Booker, 44-years-old, was favored in most poll tallies to win the contest. He was formerly mayor of Newark, New Jersey and the Democratic front-runner for the position. “You didn’t just vote, you believed that your vote and choice mattered,” said Booker. He made statements to his supporters in Newark and thank all attendees for the turn out.
With the government’s 16-day shutdown many suspected turn-out would be low affecting the election results. The partisan politics struggle in Washington had a detrimental effect on the American public and international observers. Many have viewed the Republican Party in an unfavorable light as the result of the internal bickering and political grandstanding.
Cory Booker’s win is another loss for the Republican Party and observers are interested how the government shutdown will affect future elections. Booker is the first U.S. Senator of African-American heritage from the state of New Jersey. Booker will join Republican Tim Scott from the great state of South Carolina as the second black senator in Washington.
Former Democrat Frank Lautenberg held the U.S. Senate seat upon his death this past June. At 89 Lautenberg had been a career politician with years of experience on the Hill. Booker is a Rhodes Scholar and a graduate of Yale Law School. Booker’s presence in New Jersey municipal politics brought him notoriety among many Hollywood socialites.
Booker has been known as an accomplished fundraiser and has worked with the likes of Mark Zuckerberg in fund raising for the city’s public schools. The City of Newark got a $100 million gift from the Facebook Corporation. Booker had been known for his progressive planning as mayor of the small city of Newark. Many have noted Booker as a rising star in the Democratic Party and await his debut on the national stage.
Lonegan was noted as a formidable candidate and himself the mayor of Bogota. His alignment with the well known Koch brothers firmly established him as the Republican candidate for the position. He was state director for American for Prosperity and active in political advocacy for years. He carried the line for the Republican cause supporting the government shut down whole heartedly.
Observers now view Booker as a threat to New Jersey’s Republican Governor Chris Christie. Governor Christie supported the government shutdown and was against government aid to super storm Sandy victims. The fear is Christie could lose democrat and minority votes if he is placed on the same ballot as Booker during the governor’s re-election.
The Republicans definitely are not seeking another loss by way of Cory Booker and have played down the win of the rising Democratic star. Governor Christie has been chided by Democrats for not scheduling special elections for November 5. The Governor wasted state money in not doing so for election concerns. Christie insists that Booker is no threat to his political career.
By Thomas Barr