Newark mayor Cory Booker won the special election for Frank Lautenberg's Senate seat last night, beating Republican Steve Lonegan with 55% to Lonegan's 44%. The prolific Tweeter sent these messages last night, "Thank you so much, New Jersey. I'm proud to be your senator-elect," "'It is not titles that honor, but people who honor titles.' Thank you New Jersey. I'll work hard every day to honor your confidence in me," and "Have great dreams & bold ambition but never forget that the biggest thing you can do in any day is a small act of kindness, decency or love." He also had this classy response to a non-supporter:
I didn't get your vote but I hope through my work to earn your respect MT @ChrisNoOldVlogs: I didn't vote for u but you are my senator now
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) October 17, 2013
The Star-Ledger notes, "With his special-election win, Booker will become the first African-American to represent New Jersey in the U.S. Senate, and is the first Newark mayor to win higher office in more than a century. He also extended the Democratic Party’s U.S. Senate race winning streak to 14 elections in New Jersey, dating back to 1976."
He said at his victory party, "I’ve heard it all over New Jersey, north to south, urban to suburban to rural, Democrats, independents and Republicans,” Booker said. “I heard it from everyone: ‘We put you in Washington, don’t go down there to score victories for a party or politics. Go down there to work for people.’” Yes, save us from this BS!
However, Booker, who has a national profile thanks to his rescues of constituents and dogs (and friendly relationship with NJ Governor Chris Christie), didn't win in a landslide. In fact, there was some GOP hope that Lonegan would steal the race away—Sarah Palin even surfaced to give him a hand. The NY Times reports:
Having started his political career by moving into a Newark housing project, Mr. Booker spent the final days before his Senate election beating back stories in the conservative news media that he did not actually live in the city; the fact that this story could catch hold at all suggested the level of suspicion aimed at the mayor in the city where he began his rise. And he had to call off campaign events during a nearly two-week spree of murders in Newark this summer, underscoring the layoffs of police officers during his tenure, and a complaint that has long made him bristle: that he is a better orator than manager.
Booker's spokesman said, "He’s going to be the kind of senator who’s going to gravitate toward the getting-things-done caucus. He’s going to be someone who’s going to look to forge partnerships wherever he can to make progress for New Jersey families." And then he has to run for REAL election in 2014!