Newark Mayor Cory Booker cruised to an easy victory over former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan in the Special U.S. Senate election Wednesday evening, winning by a margin of 56% vs 43%, according to the official polls.
Booker, who served as the mayor of Newark since 2006, was at one point rumored to be the Democratic representing running for governor against incumbent Chris Christie, but instead opted to pursue the U.S. Senate seat left vacant when Frank Lautenberg passed away on June 3.
Booker had the full support of the Hudson County Democratic Committee since early this year, with HCDO Chairman/Assemblyman Vinny Prieto, North Bergen Mayor/State Senator Nick Sacco, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop and Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer all endorsing the 44-year-old.
The social media aficionado also easily won the primary in August, defeating Reps. Frank Pallone, Rush Holt and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver by a wide margin, blowing out Pallone, the runner-up, by about 40 points.
Some had his Republican opponent as close as within 10 points within 24 hours of the polls opening on Wednesday, but Lonegan had even less opposition in the primary, destroying political newcomer Dr. Alieta Eck by a whopping 80 points in the polls.
Throughout the brief 3-month campaign, Lonegan took shots at the high crime rate in Newark, while Booker picked apart Lonegan for his allegiance to the Tea Party.
Governor Chris Christie opted to hold a special election to fill Lautenberg’s seat, instead of having New Jersey voters choose a new senator in the November 5 election. Instead of Booker, Christie will seek re-election against State Senator Barbara Buono, who has failed to get within 20 points within the polls.
Booker will run for re-election in just over a year, as the scheduled U.S. Senate election is already set for November 4, 2014.