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Cory Booker Getting in New Jersey Senate Race

Newark Mayor Cory Booker

By Angela Delli Santi and Geoff Mulvihill

TRENTON, N.J. — Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who has used his social-media and political savvy to gain national prominence, is in the race to finish the U.S. Senate term of the late Frank Lautenberg, along with two Democratic congressmen and a Republican former mayor.

In a three-way Democratic primary so far, Booker will face U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, who can count on support from labor, and Rep. Rush Holt.

Booker is the early front-runner, though anything could happen in a time-constrained summer primary election, when few people are expected to vote.

Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, announced after Lautenberg died that there would be party primaries Aug. 13 and a special election Oct. 16, less than three weeks before the general election that features his own re-election bid.

Christie says he made the election schedule to allow voters to choose their representation as soon legally possible, but critics believe he also does not want to be on the same ballot as Booker, even if the two are running for different offices. The two are by far the most notable politicians in the state and have significant national profiles.

Christie has appointed state Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa to serve in the Senate until after the October special election. Chiesa won’t run in the election.

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