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Booker Foes Attack Newark Mayor For Not Spending Time In Newark

Candidates On Both Sides Gearing Up For Next Tuesday's Special Election
Newark Mayor Cory Booker (file / credit: Brad Barket/Getty Images)

Newark Mayor Cory Booker (file/credit: Brad Barket/Getty Images)

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CLARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A special election to decide who will take over former Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s seat is only days away. Two of the top contenders have been hitting the streets trying to get all the votes they can.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker spent Friday trying to get the Latino vote, CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported.

He was also touting his accomplishments in his bid for the U.S. Senate seat.

“We’ve done a good job fighting for economic security in Newark,” Booker said.

The mayor, who is popular nationally and is friends with Hollywood types like Oprah Winfrey, holds a commanding lead over his Democratic primary opponents, who said Booker is all show but no action.

“He doesn’t spend a lot of time in Newark. He’s often out … We know at least 20 percent of the time he’s not in the city. He talks about what he does in the city, but he’s not there,” Rep. Frank Pallone said.

Pallone, who was at a senior citizen center Friday, also criticized Booker for his Internet start-up called Waywire. Others said Booker is too close to Republican Gov. Chris Christie. The mayor, who was traveling in a bus with a larger than life picture of himself, said he’s disclosed everything and defended his relationship with Christie.

“People did not elect me as mayor to stake out our differences and simply yell at each other for four years,” Booker said.

Other Democrats like Rush Holt have taken their campaign online, but Democrat Sheila Oliver, the state Assembly speaker, has not participated in an ad campaign. However, she is counting on a strong support in Essex County.

Conservative Steve Lonegan is running against Alieta Eck.

Both primaries will be held on Tuesday. The winner of each will face off against each other in a special election.

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