In a special election in New Jersey, Cory Booker defeated tea party Republican Steve Lonegan by more than 120,000 votes and a margin of 55 percent to Lonegan’s 43 percent. Booker will become the only elected African American senator in Congress, and only the ninth in history.
He will complete the final 15 months of the late Frank Lautenburg’s term, and then, if he chooses, Booker will have to run again in the November 2014 midterm election for a full six year term.
Governor Chris Christie interestingly scheduled the special election separate from the gubernatorial election because, some have speculated, that the increased African American turnout for Booker would take votes away from Christie and help the governor’s Democratic challenger.
Lonegan, meanwhile, tried unsuccessfully to defeat Booker in part by implying that Booker is gay. Elsewhere, the far-left has been critical of Booker for being too cozy with Wall Street and not liberal enough.