TRENTON, N.J. — Newark Mayor Cory Booker won a special election Wednesday to represent New Jersey in the U.S. Senate, giving the rising Democratic star a bigger political stage after a race against conservative Steve Lonegan, a former small-town mayor.
With 85 percent of precincts reporting, Booker had 55 percent of the vote to Lonegan's nearly 44 percent. 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."
Booker, 44, will become the first black senator from New Jersey. He was raised in suburban Harington Park and graduated from Stanford and law school at Yale before moving to one of Newark's toughest neighborhoods with the intent of doing good.
Booker was elected to complete the 15 months remaining on the term of Frank Lautenberg, who died in June at age 89. 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.