Booker Snags Senate Seat… And Nearly All of Hudson County Vote

Photo Courtesy of City of Newark, NJ

Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) defeated Steve Lonegan (R) in a special Senate race last night to take the spot vacated when Sen. Frank Lautenberg passed away earlier this year.

The Hudson County Clerk’s Office reports that 60,371 voters turned out in Hudson County yesterday (just over 17% of those registered), 3,089 of whom were mail-ins. Results show Booker received 55% of the total vote throughout the state, but in Hudson County he garnered an impressive landslide with over 77% of the votes.

Mayor Steven Fulop was a vibrant supporter of Booker’s – even inviting him for a jog from City Hall to Torico’s back in August for a scoop of ice cream and public endorsement. Booker is expected to return to Jersey City on Sunday for a Barbara Buono campaign event at Brightside Tavern.

“Cory Booker’s victory is not only important nationally as it adds another Democratic Senator to the majority, but it is also great for New Jersey and especially meaningful for Jersey City,” Fulop stated today.  “Having a big city mayor as the United States Senator is significant because he has a unique understanding of the issues we face in Jersey City.”

Booker’s win was lauded by a variety of special interest groups, particularly those of environmental such as the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) and Sierra Club. LCV President Gene Karpinski said Booker’s win is a sign that America is ready for a new generation of leaders who are committed to combating climate change and investing in our nation’s clean energy future. Jeff Tittel, Director of the Sierra Club New Jersey Chapter, called it a victory for the environment and the people of New Jersey.

“Cory Booker is a dedicated public servant who views equality for all people as his guiding principle,” said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin, in a statement issued Wednesday night. “Senator Booker will be a welcome addition to Capitol Hill as we work to pass workplace protections for LGBT people, confirm qualified judicial nominations and a work on a range of other priorities for our community.  Already a national leader, this new position allows him to continue being a stalwart ally for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people across the country.”

The heated nine-week race for Senate also included a handful of third party candidates, however none were able to acquire even 1% of the vote on their own. Jeffrey Chiesa, the former state attorney general who was appointed by Gov. Chris Christie in June, declined to run for the remainder of the term in the 2013 Special Election.

Booker, New Jersey’s first African-American Senator and currently the only elected African-American in the upper house, will immediately succeed Lautenberg. Booker is expected to seek a full term in the 2014 election.

Photo courtesy of City of Newark

Lana Diaz

is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Hudson Reporter, Jersey City Magazine, 07030, Palisade Magazine, and other publications. As a Wordsmith, she currently hosts various events around the area. For more information, visit lanarosediaz.com.