Politics

August 13, 2013

Booker, Lonegan win NJ special US Senate primaries

(Continued from page 1)

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Newark Mayor and Senate candidate Cory Booker answers a question after he voted in a primary election Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013, in Newark, N.J. Low turnout was expected Tuesday as New Jersey voters decide which candidates will run to fill the seat of the late U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who died in June. Democrat Booker and Republican Steve Lonegan are expected to easily win their party primaries. Barring an upset, the two will square off in an Oct. 16 special election, with the winner headed to Washington for the remaining 15 months of Lautenberg's term. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

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Republican U.S. Senate candidate Steve Lonegan arrives at the Bogota Recreation Center to vote with his daughter Brooke, left, and wife, Lorraine, in the special election primary in Bogota, N.J., Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)

In a fiery victory speech in Secaucus on Tuesday night, Lonegan blasted Booker as a candidate "anointed by Hollywood" and the top choice of "Silicon Valley moguls" who want to make him California's third U.S. senator.

Lonegan said he would ignore pollsters and pundits and emphasize personal freedom and reducing the role of government and particularly push to repeal President Barack Obama's health insurance overhaul, which Booker supports.

"We know what we believe in," he said. "We're going to say what we believe, and when we go to Washington, D.C., we are going to do what we say."

In debates, Booker found himself defending working with Christie, explaining that he disagrees with the governor "90 percent of the time" and promoting his conciliatory image. He also reaffirmed his support for using taxpayer money to send children to private schools, one of the few policy prescriptions on which he and Lonegan agree.

Lonegan is a familiar voice in New Jersey politics, blunt and conservative. He lost gubernatorial primaries in 2005 and 2009 but was a leader of successful opposition to ballot measures that would have raised a state sales tax and funded stem-cell research.

Like Booker, he grew up in suburban Bergen County, in Ridgefield Park, and played college football, at William Paterson.

Both candidates also became better known through documentaries released in 2005. "Anytown, U.S.A." looked at Lonegan's fiery re-election campaign in Bogota, and "Street Fight" chronicled Booker's first, and losing, run for mayor of Newark.

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