just breaking....was there any doubthttp://www.northjersey.com/news/Democrat_Cory_Booker_wins_special_US_Senate_election_over_Lonegan.html
Democrat Cory Booker wins special Senate election over Lonegan
Wednesday, October 16, 2013 Last updated: Wednesday October 16, 2013, 10:00 PM
BY MELISSA HAYES
STATE HOUSE BUREAU
New Jersey's social media-happy incoming senator has given his first reaction to his election victory with a tweet.
Cory Booker says, "Thank you so much, New Jersey. I'm proud to be your Senator-elect."
With two-thirds percent of precincts reporting, the Democratic mayor of Newark has 56 percent of the vote to Republican Steve Lonegan's 43 percent to serve out the remainder of the late Frank Lautenberg’s term.
Although the race was close early on, Democrats were quick to declare Booker the winner. Only 40 minutes after polls closed at 8 p.m., the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee was declaring victory. A short time later, state Sen. Barbara Buono, who is running against Governor Christie in the Nov. 5 election, offered her congratulations to Booker.
Several North Jersey residents said the federal government shutdown was a factor in their vote Wednesday. Lonegan supported the shutdown, which was led by a faction of his party that wanted to remove funding from the spending bill for President Obama’s healthcare overhaul. Booker has chastised the partisan gridlock in Washington, D.C. saying if elected he would work with members of both parties.
Booker has built a national following for his consensus-building and his personal story. He was a suburbanite who went to Stanford and Yale Law before moving into a tough Newark neighborhood promising to do good before he ran for office. He's also been a pioneering politician on Twitter.
Lonegan is a conservative former mayor of the town of Bogota. He dismissed Booker as more connected to Hollywood and the Silicon Valley than New Jersey.
Booker was elected to complete the 15 months remaining on Lautenberg's term, whose death in June at age 89 gave rise to an unusual and abbreviated campaign. If he wants to keep the seat for a full six-year term — and all indications are that he does — Booker will be on the ballot again in November 2014.
Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican with a national following of his own, appointed his attorney general, Jeffrey Chiesa, to the Senate temporarily and scheduled a special election for a Wednesday just 20 days before Christie himself is on the ballot seeking re-election. Christie said he wanted to give voters a say as soon as legally possible.
Democrats challenged the timing, saying Christie was afraid of appearing on the same ballot as the popular Booker. But courts upheld the governor's election schedule.
Booker had a running start on the election. Before Lautenberg died, Booker passed up a chance to run against Christie this year, saying he was eyeing Lautenberg's seat in 2014, in part so he could complete a full term as mayor — something he won't do now that he's heading to Washington.
He won an August primary against an experienced Democratic field including two members of Congress and the speaker of the state Assembly in a campaign that was largely about ideas.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.