In news that should surprise no one, Democrat Cory Booker slid into victory and will now finish the 15 remaining months created by the death of long time New Jersey politician, Frank Lautenberg.
This is a mixed bouquet.
Of course, a Tea Party Republican has been soundly defeated and thus denied entry into the Senate, so this is a good thing. It’s much harder for fringe candidates to win since they must face all the voters in a state, not just the ones set aside in gerrymandered House districts.
Also Steve Lonegan (R-Tea Party) ran an embarrassing campaign, resorting to questioning Booker’s sexual orientation in lieu of focusing on the issues facing both the state (i.e., Hurricane Sandy) and the country.
Fiscally conservative GOP NJ Governor Chris Christie did not mind dumping $24 million into this special election that took place approximately a month before the one in November which he is running in.
No worries. He can always find savings in denying raises to teachers or other public employees. Or their pensions.
It is not clear why Christie wanted to separate the two campaigns. Perhaps he was reluctant to share the spotlight or was concerned that a very popular Democratic candidate on the ballot might reduce, but not eliminate his powerful lead over his opponent.
Booker has said some strange and worrisome statements. In an interview with MSNBC, which presumed his election, Booker cited Senate Ted Cruz and Rand Paul as role models.
Reflect on that for a moment.
Being a sitting Senator gives Booker incumbency when the scheduled election occurs next year.
Watch the final debate between Cory Book and Steve Lonegan: