Booker wins Senate seat
NEWARK, New Jersey (AP) – Newark Mayor Cory Booker won a special election yesterday to represent New Jersey in the United States Senate, giving the rising Democratic star a bigger political stage after a race against conservative Steve Lonegan, a former small-town mayor.
With nearly all precincts reporting, Booker had 55 per cent of the vote to Lonegan’s 44 per cent. The first reaction from the social-media savvy victor came, of course, on Twitter: “Thank you so much, New Jersey, I’m proud to be your Senator-elect.”
In a speech later to supporters in Newark, Booker spoke, as he often does, of the unity of the American people.
“That’s why I’m going to Washington – to take back that sense of pride. Not to play shallow politics that’s used to attack and divide but to engage in the kind of hard, humble service that reaches out to others.”
He also told of how his father, who died last week at 76, taught him about love and hard work, values he says he’ll carry to the Senate.
Booker, 44, will become the first black senator from New Jersey and heads to Washington with an unusual political resume. He was raised in suburban Harington Park as the son of two of the first black IBM executives, and graduated from Stanford and law school at Yale with a stint in between as a Rhodes Scholar before moving to one of Newark’s toughest neighborhoods with the intent of doing good.
He’s been an unconventional politician, a vegetarian with a Twitter following of 1.4 million – or five times the population of the city he governs.