May 26, 2019 | 78° F

Booker wins special Senate election against Lonegan

“A mayor cannot accomplish this alone. We accomplished this together,” said former Newark Mayor Cory Booker, in his victory speech after being elected state senator from New Jersey. “This is an American story. Alone we can be strong, but when we are together, we can be invincible.”

On Oct. 16, New Jersey saw the election of its junior state senator. Democratic candidate Booker stood victorious against Republican Steve Lonegan, former mayor of Bogota, N.J. Booker, who won 55 percent of the votes in the special election, filled a 15-month term vacated after the death of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg.

With Booker’s win, the balance of power of a 55 to 45 in the Congress turned in the favor of the Democrats, implying that Republicans would need six seats in next year’s midterms to gain Senate control, according to NBC News.

He said his primary focus as state senator would include marriage equality, which was approved in New Jersey on Oct. 21, lessening the gap between rich and poor, equality for women and reforms for higher education and health care.

Prior to his election, Booker visited Rutgers and told students that the average college student graduates with $25,000 in loans. He called for “tax-free, college savings accounts for low-income parents; maximizing Pell Grants; curbing college loan interest rates and making it easier to pay back student loans,” according to

On his campaign website, Booker said his top priority is elimination of joblessness and unemployment. The mayor of New Jersey’s largest city has already created jobs by opening a hotel and attracting businesses like Cablevision and Panasonic to open offices in Newark.

Booker will serve out the remainder of Lautenberg’s term, which ends in 2014. He plans to run for re-election. According to, he faces challenges in the re-run from Assemblyman Jon Bramnick, state Sen. Tom Kean Jr., Assemblyman Jay Webber and state Sen. Michael Doherty.

By Vaishali Gauba

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